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VOL. I. 

Jieto gorfc 



Ml rights reserved x 


THIS story of my sister's life was the work of her first 
two years at Alderley. She put it into the hands of her 
friend, Sir Joseph Hooker, who undertook to negotiate 
with Messrs. Macmillan for its publication. They agreed 
to take it upon condition of certain retrenchments, which 
she was then far too ill to make, and the manuscript was 
put by till after her death. 

As it now stands, her earlier journeys in Europe, 
Egypt, and Syria have been cut out entirely and the 
first chapters compressed. The later and most interest- 
ing journeys remain, except for minor points, which had 
to be revised, just as she left them. 

By the advice of her oldest friend (and my own), Mr. 
Francis Galton, the spelling of Indian names and places 
has been altered to the system now adopted by the 
Government of India. These chapters have been kindly 
revised for me by our friend and neighbour here, Major- 
General M. E. Haig. . . . Mr. Galton had the still more 
puzzling names of Java verified and corrected for the book 
at the Koyal Geographical Society. 

The proofs of the diaries throughout have been most 
kindly read and revised by Mr. Botting Hemsley, of the 

vi Preface 

Herbarium, Eoyal Gardens, Kew, without whose generous 
help the book must have contained many botanical errors. 
My sister was no botanist in the technical sense of the 
term : her feeling for plants in their beautiful living 
personality was more like that which we all have for 
human friends. She could never bear to see flowers use- 
lessly gathered their harmless lives destroyed. 

Of the portraits (reproduced by Obernetter),the vignette 
by Williams, at the age of thirty-four, is the best likeness. 
The frontispiece to the second volume, which represents 
her standing on the doorstep of her house at Alderley, 
was done by a neighbour, Mrs. Bryan Hodgson, on her 
first arrival there, and sent out to her old friends as a 
standing invitation to visit her in her new home. It 
has her signature, and tells its own story : the last line 
of the autobiography, the close of her happy life. 

J. C. S. 







JAMAICA ........ 80 


BRAZIL . ..... 113 




viii Contents 


BOBNEO AND JAVA ... . 236 

CEYLON AND HOME ....... 299 

INDIA ...... 322 










IT began at Hastings in 1830, but as I have no recollections 
of that time, the gap of unreason shall be filled with a short 
account of my progenitors. My fourth great grandfather 
was Eoger, the youngest son of Dudley, fourth Lord North of 
Kirtling, and Anne, daughter of Sir Charles Montagu. He 
had been Attorney-General under James II, and wrote the 
lives of his three brothers the Lord Keeper Guilford; Sir 
Dudley, Commissioner of the Treasury to King Charles the 
Second ; and Doctor John North, Master of Trinity College, 
Cambridge. The portraits of these famous brothers and of 
their grandfather, the third Lord North, were among the first 
things which impressed me with childish awe, in our dining- 
room at home. 

For Roger I had an especial respect, as the brown curly 
wig was said to be all his own, and not stuck on with pins 
driven into his head as my doll's wig was, and I thought he 
used to look down on me individually with a calm expression 
of approval. I liked to make my father tell me stories about 
him, and how the great Lord Clarendon had written in his 
journal "that he and one other were the only two honest 
lawyers ho knew," that he was one of those who found time 
for everything, for music and painting as well as law, 
and when he tired of the latter work and the political 
squabbles of the time, he retired to the old hall at Rougham, 

OPOL. I & B 

2 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

in Norfolk, and employed Vater Schmidt to build him the 
best organ which could be made, on which he used to play 
the works of Corelli and Purcell. He wrote histories of 
music, building, and architecture, and covered his walls with 
pictures, including duplicates of many of the lovely but soul- 
less beauties of his friend, Sir Peter Lely. He had also built 
a library attached to the church, in which he deposited many 
curious and valuable books, including the Oriental manuscripts 
collected by his niece Dudleya North, whose great knowledge 
of languages would have been remarkable in any age. 

Roger lived on at Rougham ("out of the way," he called 
it truly) to a good old age, and as he wrote on his own 
epitaph, " freely communicated to all, without fee or reward, 
that great knowledge of the laws whereby he had formerly 
acquired the moderate fortune he died possessed of." 

His son Roger had not wit enough even to add the date 
of his father's death to his epitaph. He had a vile temper, 
and flogged his son Fountain to such a degree that the boy ran 
away to sea, and stayed there till his father's death left him 
Squire of Rougham a place he hated from old associations 
so he never went near it again, and ordered the house to be 
blown up with gunpowder, as it was too solidly built to be 
pulled down easily. All its contents were dispersed and sold 
by public auction, and even now rare old books and pictures 
may be found at sales and markets in the neighbourhood 
which once belonged to this collection, while the beauties of 
Lely still simper out of their frames at Rainham or Narford. 
The sailor-squire cared only for the sea, and in his old age 
settled himself as close to it as he could in the first lodging- 
house ever let at Hastings, dividing his time between it and a 
house he built at Hampstead, with a flat roof, bulwarks, and 
portholes, like a man of war's deck, on which he used to pace 
up and down, firing off cannon from it on all great occasions 
and birthdays. His wife was a farmer's daughter with no 
education, but she was a most indefatigable worker of 

Early Days and Home Life 

worsted-work, and through her (my father used to say) a 
certain amount of common sense was reintroduced into the 
family. The old Squire had two beautiful sisters, great 
riders, who often went over from Rougham to Houghton to 
watch Mr. Boydell at his work of engraving the famous 
collection of pictures there, which were afterwards sold to the 
Empress Catherine of Russia, and lost in the deep sea on their 
way out to her. He married one of these Miss Norths, while 
Kent the architect (also employed at Houghton) married the 

My grandfather Frederick Francis also lived all his life at 
Hastings, and never went near Rougham. He married the 
Rector's daughter, and did nothing to distinguish himself but 
have the gout, which gave him an excuse for a bad temper ; 
and my poor father had a Latin grammar thrown at his head 
almost before he could speak, " early education " being part of 
my grandfather's faith. He had five sons and a daughter, of 
whom my father was the eldest; he was born in 1800, and 
when a mere child of eight years old was sent to Harrow to 
fight his way among his elders, and endure many a hard hour 
of bullying and fagging. But he always spoke with pleasure 
of those days at school, and his sorrows came more in the 
holidays at home. Years afterwards, when opposing the 
election of Mr. Brisco, he used to say, it " vexed him to have 
to do so, as he could not help remembering how he (a big boy 
at Harrow) had interceded with the others to put little North 
on the top of the victims who were to be folded up in a press 
bed, he was so very small " (a mode of torture very fashion- 
able amongst school bullies then). 

My father stayed at Harrow till he was Captain of the 
school in Dr. Butler's house, and the old Dean used to say 
jokingly in his latter years that he would never have been 
able to get married, if my father had not kept such good 
order in the school and given him time to go a-courting. His % 
daughter was one of my first friends, and is my best friend 

4 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

still. From Harrow my father went to St. John's, Cambridge, 
and in due ' time took his degree of Senior Op., spending 
his vacations with an old farmer at Eougham in preference to 
his ungenial home, and getting a liking for the old place, its 
noble trees and poor neglected people a liking which 
increased with years. 

After leaving college he went to Switzerland, put himself 
to board with a Geneva family to learn French, walked round 
Mont Blanc, picked up some crystals, and finally came back 
to the Temple to study law, but instead of doing so, fell in 
love with my mother, the beautiful widow of Kobert Shuttle- 
worth of Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire, and eldest daughter of 
Sir John Marjoribanks, Bart., of Lees, M.P. for Berwick- 
shire ; her mother was a Eamsay of Barnton, and remarkably 
small and precise in her ways, and when the almost gigantic 
Baronet proposed to her in a box of the Edinburgh theatre, 
he received a " hush ! " for his answer, and, " dinnae speak 
sae loud, or the folk'll hear," was all the encouragement he 
obtained. They both left the world before I came into it. My 
mother herself had lived little with them, but was brought up 
by her grandfather at Lees, passing her time pleasantly in 
picking up pebbles, and throwing them back again into the clear 
running river Tweed, and dreaming over Sir Walter Scott's 
romances as they came out, having an additional interest in 
them from personal acquaintance with the author, on whose 
knee she often sat while he told her stories. Her Aunt 
Marianne taught her the little she did know ; I was called after 
her in gratitude for the teaching, and the name gained me a 
legacy from one of her uncles, who on his return from India 
found no other memento of his favourite sister but myself, a 
small baby. 

My mother's first marriage was soon over ; her husband 
having upset a coach and four he was driving, died himself, 
and nearly caused the death of his wife and of the delicate 
child Janet, who was born afterwards. When my father first 

Early Days and Home Life 

saw my mother she was in deep widow's weeds, trying to 
keep the tiny heiress alive in the mildest climate of England, 
Hastings. In those days it was a very different place from 
what it is now. There were not half-a-dozen regular lodging- 
houses, it was (though first of the Cinque Ports) merely a 
fishing village. There was no St. Leonards at all, the great 
" White Eock " to the west was afterwards removed bit by 
bit : it is now only marked by the name written on a portion 
of the long two miles of continuous houses that join the towns 
of Hastings and St. Leonards. My father was elected mem- 
ber for the town in 1830 by ten "Freemen," one of them 
being himself. 

My first recollections relate to my father. He was from "X v< 
first to last the one idol and friend of my life, and apart from 
him I had little pleasure and no secrets. He used to carry 
me on his shoulders over the hills and far away, down on the 
beach to see the fishing-boats land, and the heaps of glittering 
slippery fish counted and sold by Dutch auction ; and I well 
remember the old fishermen, covered with silver scales, calling 
out, " Make way for Muster North and his little gal ! " giving 
me kind pats with great salt hands as I, passed perched high on 
my father's shoulder through the crowd. People tell me this 
is impossible, but I have a strong recollection of seeing the 
great dinner given after the passing of the Reform Bill, for 
which my father voted, riding or walking home night after 
night after the heated divisions to his house at Notting Hill, 
and arriving in the small hours of the morning. When that 
was over, his health broke down, and he had to give up Parlia- 
ment for awhile, and had the more leisure to attend to me. 

We had much variety in our life, spending the winter at 
Hastings, the spring in London, and dividing the summers 
between my half-sister's old hall in Lancashire and a farm- 
house at Eougham. We saw many pleasant people in all j 
these places, but especially at Hastings. The one who made 
the strongest impression on me was Lucie Austin, then at 

Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

school with Miss Shepherd at Bromley Common. She used 
to spend many of her holidays with us while her parents were 
abroad, and inspired me with the most profound respect and 
admiration, as one raised above ordinary mortals. Her grand 
eyes and deep-toned voice, her entire fearlessness and con- 
tempt for what people thought of her, charmed me ; then she 
had a tame snake, and must surely have been something more 
than a woman to tame a snake ! She used to carry her pet 
about with her, wound round her arm, inside the loose sleeve 
which was then fashionable, and it would put its slender head 
out at the wrist- hole and lap milk out of the palm of her 
hand with its forked tongue. It was as fond of glittering 
things as Lucie herself, and when she took her many rings off 
her fingers and placed them on different parts of the table, it 
would go about collecting them, stringing them on its lithe 
body, and finally tying itself into a tight knot, so that the 
rings could not be got off till it pleased to untie itself again. 
Sometimes Lucie would twist the pretty bronze creature in 
the great plait of hair she wore round her head, and once 
she threatened to come down to a dinner-party of rather stiff 
people thus decorated, and only gave up when my mother 
entreated her, with tears in her eyes, not to do so. She used 
to sit for hours together in a rocking-chair, reading Shake- 
speare to us, and acting and declaiming her favourite parts 
over and over again, till I knew them by heart myself, and 
Beatrice and Portia became my personal friends. When my 
sister Catherine was to be christened, Lucie thought she 
would like to be christened at the same time, her mother, 
who was one of the Unitarian Taylors of Norwich, had of 
course never thought of such a thing, but when (at my 
father's suggestion) she wrote to ask her parents' consent, Mr. 
Austin wrote back that she was welcome to do as she liked 
in the matter ; and I well remember the curious scene of our 
good old Rector in a highly nervous state, performing the 
ceremony for the baby in arms and the magnificent lady of 

i Early Days and Home Life 7 

eighteen in the ugly old church of St. Clement's, Lord Mont- 
eagle, Miss Shepherd, and my mother being the sponsors. 

Soon after that Lucie was engaged to be married to Sir 
Alexander Duff Gordon, a very handsome man, who used to 
come down for weeks at a time, and draw wonderful devils in 
our scrap-books, and walk about with Lucie wound up in one 
plaid, both smoking cigarettes. They specially liked doing 
this on the roof at Gawthorpe, to the horror of my mother, 
who thought the neighbours might think it was ^ Janet, who 
was quite innocent of everything but good works schools, 
lending-libraries, church-building were her delight, and she 
generally sat in one of the great recesses of the long gallery 
working out her plans like Dorothea in Middlemarch. 

This room was extremely beautiful, stretching along the 
whole front of the house, one side and the two ends covered 
with stone mullioned windows, three of them deep bows or 
recesses, like small rooms, the ceiling richly moulded with 
cones and leaves, and long hanging pine-apples in the middle 
of each pattern; grim old family portraits lined the whole 
length of the room opposite the windows, and in the middle 
was a curiously carved chimney piece, over which was in- 
scribed, " Fear God, honour the King, seek peace and ensue it." 
At one end was a huge iron-bound chest, the very original 
(we children thought) of the Mistletoe-bough story, and of 
which no one living could open the lid, it was so heavy. Near 
it was a winding corkscrew stone staircase (it made one giddy 
to go down it), and opening on it were wainscoted rooms and 
secret closets, and the lady's boudoir, with a sliding panel, 
from whence she could give her orders to the musicians in the 
black oak gallery, or look down on the guests who were 
feasting on the raised floor of the dining-hall below. That 
was a grand room too, with a great arched chimney under 
which one could sit in arm-chairs on each side of the burning 
logs, and look up at the stars above (when not too smoky). 
A secret chamber, with some chests of old plate, had once 

8 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

been found up that chimney, we were told, and the whole 
house was full of mystery. 

Outside, the house was all windows. I often counted 
them, but could never find where they were inside; there 
was a moat also, which kept it nice and damp, though the 
course of the river had been changed and no longer ran 
through it. The river Calder was itself spoilt by the num- 
bers of factories which threw in their surplus dyes, and its 
colour varied from orange to scarlet or purple. The noise, 
smoke, and general griminess of every body and thing in that 
country were most unattractive to me, and I was always glad 
to move from it to clean dull old Norfolk, with its endless 
turnip-fields and fir-plantations, pigs and partridges, and where 
I had a most remarkable donkey to ride. That donkey was 
a genius ! He could open every gate in the parish ; neither 
latch nor chain could keep him out. We called him Goblin, 
after the Fakenham Ghost, and he soon found me incon- 
veniently heavy, and made riding unpleasant by taking me into 
ditches and under low prickly hedges, when my only chance 
of avoiding being torn in pieces was to lie flat on his back or 
roll off; pulling at his mouth was as useless as pulling at the 
church-tower, and I was not sorry when I was raised to the 
dignity of riding a pony, on whose back I spent the chief part 
of my days, following my father about from field to field, 
tying up the pony while he was busy with his axe, and devour- 
ing Cooper's novels under the trees he had planted, till I 
fancied myself in the virgin forests of America. 

Governesses hardly interfered with me in those days. 
Walter Scott or Shakespeare gave me their versions of history, 
and Robinson Crusoe and some other old books my ideas of 
geography. The farm-house we lived in had been originally 
the laundry of the Hall, and consisted of one large centre 
room on the ground-floor, with sufficient bedrooms over it and 
offices outside. This room had nine doors, three of them 
outside doors, so it was very airy. It had a great open 

Early Days and Home Life 

fireplace in which we burnt huge logs of wood, and a steep 
ladder-like stair more fit for a ship than a house. The 
garden was full of old-fashioned flowers; it had tiny paths 
and beds edged with box hedges, leading up to a quaint old 
pigeon-house covered with ivy, and beyond that was the park 
full of grand trees, and the church and village. Everything 
was most unconventional; the Methodists and Wesleyans 
had their own way, there having been no resident clergyman 
within the memory of man, and no school of any sort ex- 
cept theirs. The Eector lived at Whitehaven ; his son-in-law 
was his curate, and kept a school somewhere else ; he paid a 
hack parson, Mr. York, to come over every Sunday and " get 
through " the service somehow. He used to stroll in with 
his pipe in his mouth, within an hour or so of the proper 
time, and after he had finished his task, in an almost empty 
church, came in to dine with us, and have a game of chess 
with my mother afterwards. He was not a bad man, but 
uneducated, had been originally a ploughboy, and had won 
the heart of a farmer's daughter, who first married him and 
then took him to Cambridge to make a gentleman of him 
by having him crammed sufficiently to get him ordained ; 
they lived in a cottage three miles off", and he got a poor 
livelihood by taking " hack duties " as they were called. 

All our parish were Dissenters of different sorts, but 
chiefly "ranters" or Primitive Methodists, a sect whose chief 
preachers were women. When we came, however, a good 
many usually came to church in order to have a real good 
look at the Squire, who was always popular; and my 
mother started a Sunday School "in order to bring 
more people to church," a result of which I could never 
quite see the benefit. She induced the leading Methodist 
to bring all his school-children into a sort of lean-to, or side- 
aisle, of his tumble-down old church (Dudleya's original 
Library), and got one of the farmer's wives, with our gover- 
ness and butler, to go and teach them, bribing the children 

io Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

to stay through Mr. York's service and sermon by giving 
them small tracts with pictures in them afterwards. I 
remember well the first Sunday these children were seated 
round the chancel outside the altar rails. The parish clerk 
was rather astonished that my father objected to his seating 
himself on the altar table during the sermon, with a long 
pole in his hands to touch up the heads and backs of those 
who went to sleep or did not behave with due solemnity. 
My mother also started an evening class for young men, for 
until then few of the villagers could either write or read. 
They were most eager to improve themselves in this way; 
far more so than they were after a properly organised school- 
master, mistress, and house were established in the village. 

Our life at Hastings was very different, and our comfort- 
able house was generally full of guests. The Davies Gilberts 
often came over from Eastbourne; the P.R.S. was a gentle 
lovable old man; his clever wife a most inveterate talker, 
full of philanthropic schemes for improving the condition of 
the labouring classes, a subject not so much thought and 
written about in the England of that day as it is now. She 
used to carry models of ploughs, draining-tiles, and other 
machines in her huge pockets, and the slightest gap in the 
conversation brought them out, with all her arguments for 
and against them. Another old lady used to come and stay 
with us, a Mrs. Stock, who impressed me greatly, as she wore 
stick-up collars, played splendidly on the piano, and had a 
mania for phrenology. Whenever she came victims were 
collected, with their back hair let down, to have their bumps 
felt and registered, and the drawing-room looked like a hair- 
dresser's shop ; under her influence my mother became quite 
a believer. 

My half-sister Janet had been a good deal away for 
some time with her cousin, Mrs. Davenport, afterwards Lady 
Hatherton, and one morning wrote the astonishing intelli- 
gence that she was engaged to be married to Dr. Kay, the 

i Early Days and Home Life 1 1 

great educationalist. My mother had never seen nor heard 
of him before, and was perfectly dumfoundered by the news. 
Dr. Kay came down to see his future mother-in-law. He was 
twelve years older than Janet and very bald, and as he took 
my sister Catherine on his knee and petted her to hide his 
nervousness, she made the deliberate and somewhat em- 
barrassing remark, "Dr. Kay, why does your head come 
through your hair ? " Terrible innocent ! 

Catherine was about four years old then, I twelve, and 
Charley two years older. The wedding was all fun to us, 
but I remember thinking that a medicine-chest was an uncom- 
fortable kind of thing to be stuck between bride and bride- 
groom in the yellow chariot as they rolled away. 

The next great event was a journey to Scotland, where 
my father had to look after the property of his ward, Sir 
John Majoribanks. He and my brother joined us from Eton, 
and we all went down by sea from London to Edinburgh, 
coasting under the cliffs of Scarborough and Tantallon, then 
close under the Bass Eock. From thence we went by coach 
to Lees on the Tweed, where my mother's girlhood had been 
passed. It is not an old place, but very lovely, with the clear 
river running round the Lees or meadow on which the house 
is built, and the Eildon Hills in the distance. The wild 
cherries were white with blossom then, and reflected in the 
water, through which one could see the salmon glittering as 
they glided along deep below the surface. Men used to sit 
on raised platforms on the bank, watching for the big ones to 
come up from the sea, and gave notice to the fishermen to look 
out for them. One story I heard there which impressed me 
much. The factor had a large tom-cat, which used to sit and 
watch him fishing, and got so excited when any big fish was 
hooked that it would rush into the water and help to land it ! 
A curious instance of the love of sport overpowering its 
cat-like dread of wetting its feet ! Poor puss at last fell 
a victim to its own vices, and died from a fish-hook which 

12 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

stuck in its throat when devouring a stolen fish too 

When we went south again, we caught the railway some- 
where beyond York. There were only bits of railways in 
those days, and we generally drove a long way to reach them, 
and then used to sit in our own carriage, which was tied 
on a truck, surrounded by all our luggage. My great delight 
was to sit with my father on the rumble or coach-box, biting 
my lips hard and shutting my eyes when we went through 
the tunnels and bridges to keep myself from calling out 
with fright, though I knew I was safe with my father's arm 
round me. 

Our journeys from Hastings to Norfolk every year were a 
long week's work, and we were treated like old friends at all 
the inns on the road. My father often drove himself, with me 
on the box beside him. We also rode some hours each day. 
I knew every big tree, pretty garden, or old farm-house, with 
the wooden patterns let into the walls, and yews and box- 
trees cut into cocks and hens, and I sadly missed them when 
the days of "improvement and restoration" came. Ely 
Cathedral and Cambridge also made up for the monotony of 
the low fen-country, and we always stopped at the latter 
place to visit old haunts and take a load of books from the 
library such books as we could not get elsewhere. Amongst 
others, Mrs. Hussey's two large volumes on British fungi 
were my great delight one summer, and started me collecting 
and painting all varieties I could find at Eougham, and for 
about a year they were my chief hobby. One, I remember, 
had a most horrible smell j 1 it came up first like a large turkey's 
egg, and in that state was inoffensive ; and as I was very anxious 
to see the change, I put it under a tumbler in my bedroom 
window one night, and the next morning was awakened by a 
great crash. Behold the tumbler was broken into bits, and 
the fungus standing up about five inches high with a honey- 
combed cap, having hatched itself free of its restraining shell, 
1 Phallus impudicus. 

i Early Days and Home Life 13 

and smelling most vilely. Good and bad smells are merely a 
matter of taste, for it soon attracted crowds of a particular 
kind of fly, which seemed thoroughly to enjoy themselves 
on it. 

At last some one told my mother that I was very un- 
educated (which was perfectly true), so I was sent to school at 
Norwich with Madame de Wahl, one of the three sisters of 
Lady Eastlake who had committed the folly of marrying Russian 
nobles while students at Heidelberg. She had lived to repent, 
and escaped after much trouble, bringing home to England a 
son and a daughter, whom she had to educate and bring up by, 
her own earnings. She was very handsome ; it was impossible 
not to love her, but school-life was hateful to me. The teach- 
ing was such purely mechanical routine, and the girls with one 
exception were uninteresting. The only bright days were 
when my father used to ride over for the assizes or some other 
business and take me with him ; one day he took me to see 
Bishop Stanley in his old house by the Cathedral, and made 
him promise to compel the next Vicar of Eougham to live 
there, which he did. That bishop was a beautiful old man, 
and more energetic than Norfolk sporting parsons cared for ; 
they said he was undignified, and ought to sit still in his 
carved stall at the Cathedral, instead of starting off on his 
pony, no one knew where, on Sunday mornings, and pounc- 
ing down on some wretched preacher and empty church, in 
which he was not found out till his fine voice gave out the 
blessing at the end. 

At last the happy time came, and I left school. My 
months there had not been many, but they were very long 
ones to jne, and soon after it was decided to let Hastings 
Lodge and to go abroad for three years. 

In August 1847 we went to Heidelberg, where we settled 
for eight months in the two upper storeys of a large ugly 
house outside the town gates, on the Mannheim road. We 
were a large party my father and mother, three English 

14 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

maids, a German cook, my sister, myself, and an old English 
governess we used to call " Pietra Dura." Her name was Miss 
Stone, and she knew the peerage by heart. My mother 
believed in her ; we hated her. Music was then my mania, 
my master's violoncello generally lived in our schoolroom, and 
it was a real delight accompanying it both with voice and 
piano. There were few English then in Heidelberg; our 
friends were all German. The winter was cold and bright ; 
continuous frost and sunshine, with neither fogs nor thaws. 
The students in all their gay finery of caps and bands and 
tassels drove jingling sledges up and down the High Street, 
and skated on the river by torchlight, pushing gaily dressed 
ladies in perambulators before them. They also gave excellent 
concerts every week ; and the walks over the beautiful Berg- 
strasse, covered with crisp frost or snow, were most enticing. 
On Christmas Day we joined Professor von Mohl's family 
party round the blazing tree ; and as we walked to his house 
down the long High Street every window was illuminated 
with the same trees, and family parties round them. No 
shutters were closed on that night, so that those in the street 
could also get some reflected warmth from the Christmas tree. 
My father often took me expeditions, starting by rail, and 
then plunging into the forests, over hills and valleys, where 
we met pretty roe-deer, hares, or foxes, and gathered great 
bunches of lilies of the valley ; all was apparently so calm and 
peaceful, though at that moment great revolutions were hatch- 
ing all over Europe. Shortly after, Louis Philippe fled from 
France, which was soon in the hands of a Provisional Govern- 
ment. Revolutionary ideas are infectious, and soon crossed 
the Rhine to our students, who strutted about with cocks' 
feathers added to their gay caps, and dressed their big dogs' 
necks with the colours of united Germany, " Roth-schwartz- 
gelb." The first great meeting to promote that end was held 
in the court of the castle of Heidelberg on the 26th of March 
1848. It was crowded with many thousands of people, who 

i Early Days and Home Life 15 

listened very quietly to hours of dull speechifying, a good deal 
of pistol-shooting, and a little national music. 

Before April was over we left Heidelberg, and steamed 
up the Neckar to Heilbronn. From thence we drove in a 
lumbering kind of omnibus, bag and baggage, through Ulm to 
Augsburg and Munich, where we took a flat belonging to a 
Bavarian grandee, over the Prussian Embassy, and next to the 
English one, which pleased my mother, but my father called it 
splendid discomfort ; and indeed, though the reception-rooms 
were fine, the bedrooms and all usual comforts of life were as 
deficient as they could well be. The whole of modern Munich 
had the same mushroom character, the fancy of a poetical old 
king, who just before our arrival had outfooled himself under 
the reign of Lola Montez, and had been forced to abdicate : 
the shop-windows were full of portraits of him tearing his hair 
at the sudden departure of the " Despotinn " and his crown. 

I soon fell a victim to typhoid fever ; but I had time before 
it came to hear Don Giovanni for the first time, and to see the 
Sleeping Faun and some other masterpieces in the wonderful 
Glyptothek. When my fever abated I was taken to the Lake 
of Starnberg just the place to recover in a still clear lake on 
which one could be rowed without fatigue or hurry. Lovely 
Alps in the far distance, quite too far to think of going to, no 
particular expeditions to tempt one, a general prettiness and 
freshness without anything the least grand or exciting. On 
the banks of the lake was a small hunting-box of the young 
king's, and as he had been made Lord High Admiral of the 
new united German fleet, he had a gunboat or yacht launched 
on the lake, and came down once to try it, but was very sea- 
sick, and never came again ; such was the story. 

My brother came out for his vacation, and did an amazing 
amount of fishing, and then we all packed ourselves into a 
huge three-bodied vehicle, and drove to Salzburg, taking about 
three days on the road. 

There was a great charm then about the old inn of the 

1 6 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

Schiff, with the splashing fountain, backed by the Cathedral, 
in front, and Mozart's minuet perpetually chiming overhead 
(sadly out of tune), as well as the sunset guns and military 
bands, which seemed also to belong to it. 

We did not stay long there, but settled ourselves in an old 
manor-house with four turrets and about seventy windows, 
two miles east of the town ; for all this my father paid 16 
for the summer, so could afford also to hire a nice open 
carriage with a pair of strong little horses, which took us to 
Berchtesgaden, Konig See, Hallein, and other expeditions, 
whenever we were in the mood. Nearly every afternoon we 
had a thunderstorm j often they were more violent than our 
old roof could stand. The water used to rush down the 
winding stairs like a river from the upper storey. But the 
sky effects at those times were superb, and from every side of 
the house one could see magnificent and varied views. 

My brother got as much fishing as he could manage, and 
an Austrian gentleman one day took him to see some native 
sport in the forest ; they tied an owl to a post with the sun in 
its eyes, when it blinked so hard that all the birds of the air 
came to look at it, then the sportsmen shot at them from a 
sort of wigwam of branches they had made to hide in. They 
brought home two hawks, a jay, and some other game more 
curious than eatable. 

Our next move was to Ischl, thence to Lake Gmunden, and 
on by a horse-car to Linz, and down the Danube to Vienna, 
meaning to pass the winter there. We began house-hunting 
at once, and had nearly decided to take one on the ramparts ; 
but the good landlord advised us to wait till the next day 
before agreeing about it. He was an honest man, and knew, 
what we strangers did not know, that disturbances were 
already beginning in the city. My father and mother were in 
the Cathedral when the mob broke in to fetch out the seats 
and other movables to make a barricade outside ; the firing 
began, the tocsin sounded its great muffled bell to call in the 

i Early Days and Home Life 17 

people from the suburbs, and armed men pointed their guns 
at a door behind the pulpit. As no one came out of it, no one 
was shot at, but when they began to bring in wounded from 
outside, my father got my mother out by a back door, and 
home through side streets. That night Latour, the Minister 
of War, was hanged on a lamp-post and shot at by the students, 
who burned down the arsenal, and dressed themselves up in 
old breastplates and helmets, strutting about in them like 
Bombastes Furioso. My father asked one who was pointing 
a gun over the gate nearest to our hotel if we could leave the 
town, and was told we should be shot down if we did. So he 
went at once and secured two good porters with wheelbarrows, 
on which our travelling luggage was placed. We all marched 
out with it, and arrived safely at the railway station in the 
Vorstadt ; from thence by slow degrees to Baden, proposing to 
stay there till the row was over, and never dreaming that 
poor Vienna would be shut up for a month. After we left, 
indeed an hour after we passed through that gate, it was 
barred and bolted. 

Baden was crammed already with refugees, and not a 
room to be had, so the next train took us on to Neustadt, 
where my mother was so completely knocked up that she 
declared she would sit up in the dining-room of the first inn 
we tried for the night ; while the rest of our party wandered 
forth again from inn to inn, under the bright moonlight, 
hearing the watchman call ten, eleven, and twelve, when at 
last we found comfortable beds and a kind host in a little inn 
outside the town. The " Angel " was its name, and its nature, i 
we thought, as we rested our weary feet and pitied my poor 
father, who returned to assist my mother to " sit up " on a 
hard bench among the smoking and beer-drinking Austrians 
till morning in a dirty salon. He was not well, and few men 
could have managed as he had done to get eight women and 
all their luggage safely out of a fortified city in the hands of 
revolutionists. The next morning's train took us to the foot 
VOL. i C 

1 8 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

of the Semmering Pass, and the mouth of the first great 
tunnel which pierced the Alps. After a three hours' hunt we 
iound an omnibus and horses to carry the party over the pass. 
I and my father walked, and enjoyed doing so. The scenery 
was splendid ; an Italian regiment was before us, singing and 
rejoicing as they got nearer their native land; the savage 
grandeur of the mountains was softened by these distant 
voices and melodies into something more kind and gentle ; 
and the whole was flooded with a rosy sunset as we reached 
Murzuschlag, where we were told no train would leave till 
three the next morning. Of course the soldiers had taken 
every lodging. We thought ourselves happy to be allowed to 
camp in the third-class waiting-room for the night at the 
station, and to make our supper off the few scraps of cold 
plum-pudding and other national food we had left in our 
baskets, which had been filled the week before at Ischl. One 
of the railway-guards opened a drawer in a press and pulled 
out some blankets, which he courteously offered my mother, 
who as courteously refused, on which he took off his boots, 
lighted his pipe, curled himself up amongst them in the 
drawer, and smoked himself to sleep. We all did our best to 
sleep also. 

The train did not really start till six the next morning, 
when we were far too weary to enjoy the scenery of the Mur 
Valley; but the clean rooms, baths, and breakfast at the 
" Black Elephant " at Gratz, were among the greatest luxuries 
I ever met in my life. It was a genuine specimen of a 
" gasthaus " of the old school, where the landlord treated his 
guests like friends. All scraps and bones were made into soup 
and given away to a crowd of poor people who collected in 
the court every afternoon. 

During the month the siege of Vienna lasted Gratz was 
also in a panic ; but all the unquiet spirits went off to assist 
the confusion of the capital, and the Styrians kept perfectly 
good-humoured and quiet, though every one was most anxious 

i Early Days and Home Life 19 

for the future, and the banker even refused to cash circular 
notes or cheques on Coutts's letter of credit, which was incon- 
venient. Our heavy luggage had been sent from Ischl by an 
"expeditor," and after sticking in Vienna for six weeks, 
reached us safely at last, when we were already well settled in 
a large new house near the Castle Hill, an isolated rock in the 
midst of the wide rich valley of the Mur. 

The cathedral was connected by a covered bridge with the 
theatre ; the fiddlers and singers were common to both institu- 
tions, and walked over it from one to the other, performing 
equally well in both. We heard many of the best operas very 
respectably done for two shillings a stall ; but one thing the 
Gratzers insisted upon they must have their suppers by ten 
o'clock ; so that if the opera was a long one, it had to begin 
earlier so as to be over at the required time, or they broke the 
manager's windows the next morning. We often had to walk 
in by daylight to suit this rule. 

I had a delightful old singing -mistress who had been 
famous in her youth, and had come out at Prague as the 
"Queen of the Night" in the Zauberflote, and even then 
could reach F above the lines with ease. With her I went 
through all Mozart's operas and masses, singing and trans- 
posing all the solos and duets ; and between singing and play- 
ing I often passed eight hours a day at the piano. I learnt 
many of Beethoven's sonatas by heart. My dear old mistress 
used to take me also to sing amongst her daughters and pupils 
in the organ-gallery of the cathedral, where I heard many 
great works, including Bach's Passion music and Haydn's 
Last Words. Of course Gratz was full of soldiers, mostly 
raw recruits, Border Men and Croats, who were brought there 
to be drilled before they were sent off to the wars then going 
on in Hungary and Italy. These poor creatures came from 
their homes in picturesque sheepskin coats, with the wool 
inside and embroidery outside ; their well-shaped sandalled 
feet were forced into regulation boots, while their bodies were 

2O Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

squeezed into tight uniforms. They looked very miserable, 
asking every one to change the paper florins (one of which had 
to be divided between three of them), though no one had any 
change to give them. Metal money was nowhere to be seen ; 
the notes were usually torn into quarters, each quarter used 
separately till it became an illegible shred. All living was 
amazingly cheap. 7 a week covered the whole of our ex- 
penses for nine persons, lessons and operas included. We 
were the only English people in all Gratz. 

About the end of April we turned northwards again. One 
day of railroad took us to Vienna, but we did not care 
to lodge a second time within the walls, the experiences 
of the autumn having given us a horror of being " shut in." 
We found the beautiful old city much knocked about by the 

We went on by slow railway journeys to Brunn and Prague, 
where we saw Kaiser Ferdinand at his devotions in the chapel 
of the noble Hradschin Palace, lingered on the old bridge 
among the statues, pulled some hairs out of the latest tail 
of Wallenstein's stuffed horse, and stared at the gorgeous 
Bohemian glass in the. shop windows it was just then the 
most popular of chimney ornaments ; after a while the Vene- 
tian reproductions of Salviati made it look vulgar, then the 
still older potteries of Japan became the fashion, and what 
next, I wonder ! 

Our next move was eventful ; for after floating peacefully 
down the beautiful Elbe, through the picturesque rocks and 
forests of Saxon Switzerland, we reached Dresden, and the very 
day after our arrival the revolution began. The king fled up 
to his fortress on the Konigstein, taking all his most valuable 
treasures from the "Green Vaults" with him, and sending for 
soldiers from Prussia to come and reduce his beloved subjects 
and their city into order, by fair means or foul ; while his pet 
Wagner, the Composer of the Future, harangued and led the 
mob against them. Barricades were raised in every street, 

i Early Days and Home Life 21 

and all traffic over the bridge leading from our side of the 
river was stopped by soldiers. My father bribed a boatman to 
take him across to see what was going on, and thought the 
Saxons were not so much in earnest over their civil war as 
the Viennese had been ; but when the Prussians arrived and 
regularly besieged the place, then the fight began only too 
seriously, and the noise of cannon and guns went on inces- 
santly for some days. The Prussian commander lodged in our 
house, and we saw from its windows the poor Zwinger and 
other fine buildings in flames. Most of the ambassadors also 
crossed the noble river to seek safety with us. But our own 
representative, Mr. Forbes, sent his sister only, and stayed, 
like a brave man, at his post, with the English flag flying over 
his house, ready to shelter any of his country people who 
wished to claim its protection. 

It was a fearful week of anxiety, but at last the soldiers 
gained the day; the insurgents submitted unconditionally, and 
we saw the Prussians march over the bridge with green 
branches on their helmets and bayonets, amid much cheering 
and music. Of the poor wounded and killed we also saw 
enough to give a vivid horror of war to our minds ever after ; 
but as far as we could judge, the good-humour and discipline 
of the Prussians on that occasion were very remarkable. They 
were soon billeted and quartered in every house in the city, 
and many were the stories told of the behaviour of the men, 
especially of the Alexander Guards, who were all of noble 
birth and education, though privates in rank, and who aston- 
ished their hostesses by playing the piano and other accom- 
plishments (darning their socks also between whiles). 

We were not sorry to escape and get into a clean roomy 
apartment the other side of the city. It was hot at Dresden 
in summer, but I worked hard and enjoyed three months there 
exceedingly. Oeccarelli, the chief singer of the king's chapel, 
found out my voice was contralto instead of soprano, so I 
tried no more high tunes. I learnt with him to know the 

22 Recollections of a Happy Life , CHAP. 

grand old sacred music of Italy Marcello, Pergolesi, Stradella, 
as well as Haydn, Hasse, and Bach. 

We had many delightful days there, and of course learnt 
to know the famous pictures by heart all that is too well 
known to need description. But I think what made the most 
impression on my memory were the visits we used to pay to 
old Moritz Retsch and his wife. They lived five miles from 
Dresden, quite in the country, in a small cottage amongst the 
vines ; under those very vines the old artist is said to have 
found a baby asleep when he himself was a boy of twelve 
years old, and to have vowed that that baby should become 
his wife when she grew up. He superintended her education, 
and never changed his mind. She was an only child, and 
succeeded to her father's home, vines, and farm, and when we 
knew her was still a very beautiful old lady. Eetsch had won 
many honours by his genius for illustration, but could never 
be tempted away from his quiet country home. He had never 
even been to Berlin, and only went into Dresden when abso- 
lutely obliged by his professorial duties ; but although he had 
seen nothing of the world, his variety of fancy knew no bounds, 
and he worked it from morning till night. His original draw- 
ings were done with pencil, shaded with the greatest fineness, 
and were very unlike the bold outlines which have been 
engraved, and by which his name has become known to 
foreigners. He used to get five or ten guineas for one of 
these small pencil drawings a great price in Germany at that 
time. He was exceedingly simple and quaint in his manner 
and talk, delighted in showing his children (as he called his 
drawings), and telling marvellous stories about them, while his 
wife brought out her famous coffee and cakes. In her room I 
saw for the first time a sofa with real growing ivy trained over 
it as a canopy. We also knew the painters Dahl and Vogel- 
stein. The latter gave my mother a beautiful study for his 
large painting of a martyr taking leave of her child through 
the prison bars, as he said the face resembled hers. 

i Early Days and Home Life 23 

About the end of August we moved on by Berlin to Stettin 
on the Oder, and down that river in a barge towed by a 
steamer to Swinemunde. We went on the same day by a 
small steamer, and in about six .hours landed in the Isle of 
Eiigen, and soon settled ourselves in a nice little house at 
Putbus. The name of that place had become known to English 
people chiefly through its Prince having been the representa- 
tive of Prussia at the coronation of our Queen, when he came 
over in great state to attend it. He was said to be one of 
the richest nobles of Germany, possessing a great part of 
Pomerania, which is famous for its corn (even more than for 
its " plum-pudding " dogs). The Prince and Princess lived in 
a large palace at Putbus, and were most kind and hospitable 
to all strangers, allowing every one to ramble as they liked 
through their lovely gardens and park. Of course the newly 
arrived English family were asked at once to dine at the Palace 
at four o'clock. 

The chalk heights in Riigen are all sprinkled over with 
granite boulders, and Hiinengraber are scattered in every 
direction, some of them very large. Fine beech-trees begin 
also with the chalk ; though so much exposed to the north 
winds, the trees actually hang over the very edge of the 
Stubenkammer precipice, 400 feet above the sea. A small 
"gasthaus" had been built there, and about a quarter of a 
mile behind it was the temple of the goddess Hertha, resem- 
bling an enormous raised -pie of granite boulders, covered 
with earth, bedded in the thickest wood, and fringed over its 
very sides with beech-trees of large growth. Its walls were 
at least 50 feet high, their scarp still denned and steep ; the 
edge, on which an easy path is traced, being just broad enough 
to hold it. This seemed most wonderful, as their date was 
beyond tradition. On one side the walls opened upon a dismal 
lake covering five or ten acres, most funereal-looking even in 
the brightest sunshine. Great beeches shaded it, and gigantic 
rushes fenced in the whole of its circular edge. Its waters 

24 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP, 

were warm, and its depth was said to be unfathomable ; it had 
no apparent outlet or inlet. Higher up to the west was one 
large barrow or Hiinengrab, among many others, from which 
the view was magnificent. The sun could be watched as it 
set gloriously in the sea towards Holstein, and one could sit 
and wonder at the hundreds of Hiinengraber, and the still more 

. mysterious granite blocks of which they were built. How 
were they brought to those high chalk cliffs, with which they 
had no possible geological connection 1 The glacier theories 
alone could explain it, am} to a woman's mind the problem did 
not seem so difficult in this cold Baltic region as it did in the 
tropics, where I again encountered it after many years. A 

""fine chalybeate spring scenting the air with sulphur added its 
odours to the wonders of the Stubenkammer, bursting out of 
the chalk cliff half-way down the steep path to its foot. 
Beech-trees followed it down, and grew close to the edge of the 

^ sea, with its hard bed of granite and flint pebbles. 

The bathing at Putbus was delicious. Half an hour's drive 
brought one to a pretty wood, where a circular clearing had 
been made for the carriages and their drivers to wait in. Five 
minutes more took one on foot through the thick screen of 
bushes to a lovely sandy cove, with dressing- huts built on 
piles round it, and steps descending at different depths to suit 
people's ages and fancies. The water was always calm and 
clear as crystal, but only half salt; there was never more than a 
foot or two of tidal difference in the water's edge. Beautiful 
jelly-fish floated about, set with stars of all the purest colours, 
and could be easily caught in the hand, but melted away on 
dry land. Lovely sea-weed tempted one to collect, but shrank 
to a formless nothing when captured. There never was a 
more enjoyable bathing-place, and the old Princess herself 
used it in the same simple manner we did, except that her 
"shakebus" (no better than ours) was drawn by six fine 
horses. There was another small bay set aside for the men 
bathers. The shores of Eiigen are never straight in any 

i Early Days and Home Life 25 

direction for half a mile ; from every quarter little bays and 
inlets run up to the centre of the island, and the view from its 
capital, Bergen (which with its old Runic castle Eugard forms 
the very heart of it), was most remarkable, one saw far more 
sea than land, while the abundance of fine old trees and high 
cultivation reminded one of England. 

The park at Putbus was full of deer, so tame that they 
would take bread from our hands. The Prince's Kapelmeister 
introduced me for the first time to the music of Handel such 
a great event in my life that I found myself wondering the 
other day when looking over my father's journals why he did 
not mention it, till I came to my senses, and remembered that 
"all music" (to him) was "a horrid noise, which must be 
submitted to for the sake of others who like it." Herr Miiller 
used to take me to the organ-gallery of the Palace Chapel, and 
accompany all the noble old songs from the oratorios on the 
organ, transposing those that were out of my reach in their 
original keys, as Madame Sehr had done, thus giving me the 
delight of learning their glorious melodies, which once learnt 
can never be forgotten. They have filled many a wakeful 
night and weary day of voyage with pleasant memory. None 
who really love music can be dull, and it can be thus enjoyed 
without disturbing others by " a horrid noise." I wish practis- 
ing could be done equally silently, and fear I must have been 
a perfect nuisance to all my neighbours in those days. 

We stayed till all the other guests were gone, and the little 
steamer had ceased to run ; so the one real carriage at Riigen 
was placed at my mother's disposal, while the rest of the 
party and our twenty packages were packed into carts. We 
drove over the sands to the ferry, and crossed to the old 
fortified island of Stralsund, with its many towers. The pave- 
ments were barely above the level of the sea and moat. 

Hagenow was the end of our drive, whence the railway 
took us to Hamburg in a few hours, where we rested and 
looked at the busy streets and muddy canals and the reflected 

26 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

gas-lights in the great Alster Dam from our windows at night. 
Started again by rail to the semi-English Hanover, then full of 
royal red liveries and soldiers, and by Cologne to Brussels, 
where we again settled in a lodging for six months, and my 
practising became more incessant than ever under Herr 
Kufferath, a pupil of Mendelssohn, to the study of whose 
works I devoted myself that winter. 

Two people I saw and heard at Brussels whom I cannot 
forget, Madame Sontag and Mrs. Norton. The latter I found 
one day talking to my mother in our sitting-room, and without 
knowing anything about her, felt quite awed by her grand 
beauty and deep bell -toned voice. She was a real queen. 
Madame Sontag I only heard at a concert, but having once 
heard I persuaded my father to take me to each of her per- 
formances. Her singing had a manner and perfection peculiar 
to herself ; and her history, as we heard it, gave me an extra 
interest in her. She had been for many years the wife of 
Count Rossi, the Sardinian Minister at Berlin, who was then 
pauperised by the Revolution. She had taken up her old 
profession to support him and her children. Report also told 
how Jenny Lind had retired from the opera in England to 
make way for the older woman, who had shown her much 
kindness when unknown and in want of friends a story I 
liked to believe true, whether it were so or not. Another 
wonderful woman I saw in Paris a few weeks afterwards, 
whose image does not give me pleasure but a shudder 
to think of, I mean Rachel as I saw her in Phedre. It was 
fearful, and the acting must have been horribly real to engrave 
itself so vividly on my memory. I can hear the tremulous 
thrill of her voice now. 

In London that year I had some lessons in flower-painting 
from a Dutch lady, Miss van Fowinkel, from whom I got the 
few ideas I possess of arrangement of colour and of grouping, 
and then we recommenced the happy old life at Rougham, I 
passing hours and hours of every day on horseback, painting 

i Early Days and Home Life 27 

and singing with little fear of interruption. Our neighbours 
were kind, but we were not what is called a sociable family, 
and the few balls or parties were to me a penance. I hated 
the dressing up and stiffness of them, and the perpetual talk 
of turnips, partridges, or coursing, of my partners. The 
farmers tried to look like squires, the squires like game- 
keepers; the women had the same ideas (though of course 
there were exceptions). 

The next season I saw the opening of the first great 
Exhibition (1851), with the Chinaman admiring the real 
live Duke of Wellington, who thought the whole thing very 
dangerous. I also went to a drawing-room and began study- 
ing singing again under Miss Dolby. I never had any other 
mistress, but learnt to admire her more and more, till both 
our days for singing were over. I loved her for herself, as 
well as for her voice, and I believe she liked my singing, as 
she used to make me take the contralto solos in the concerts 
she gave her pupils in concerted music, while the other solos 
were sung by professionals ; but I grieve to say I never did 
well on those occasions, having a most provoking habit of 
nervousness ; when told to stand up and show off, the room 
seemed to go round and round, and I could not keep myself 
from shaking all over. 

Bartholomew also gave me a few lessons in water-colour 
flo wer- painting : the only master I longed for would not 
teach, i.e. old William Hunt, whose work will live for ever, as 
it is absolutely true to nature. We used to see a good deal of 
him at Hastings, where he generally passed his winters, living 
in a small house almost on the beach under the East Cliff, 
where he made most delicious little pencil-sketches of boats 
and fishermen. I can see him now, looking up with his funny 
great smiling head, and long gray hair, above the poor dwarfish 
figure, and his pretty wife, with her dainty little openwork 
stockings and shoes, trying to drag him off for a proper walk 
on the parade with her daughter and niece, where he looked 

28 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

entirely out of character. I remember " That Boy," too, whom 
Hunt taught to be anything he chose as model, blowing the 
hot pudding, fighting the wasp, or taking the physic; the 
apple-blossoms and birds'-nests, with their exquisite mosses 
and ivy-leaved backgrounds, were found in the hedges and 
gardens about Hastings. Prout also lived in a Hastings lodg- 
ing in George Street. He was very delicate, and used to 
draw even in his bed. These two, as well as other artists, used 
to spend much of their time in the house of Mr. Maw, a man 
of great taste, who, when he had retired from business, settled 
in a house on the West Hill, where he made an exquisite collec- 
tion of Turner's water-colours. He also fitted up a studio 
with rare old oak, which became the background to many 
famous historical pictures. His daughter was my great friend 
as a child, and his son has since made himself famous by his 
beautiful book on crocuses. But the neighbour in whom we 
delighted most was the Kev. Julian Young, son of the actor 
Charles Young, who had insisted on his going into the Church 
when his natural talent and inclination were for the profession 
of his father. He could not tell the smallest tale without 
acting, bringing his face unconsciously into the likeness of the 
person he was speaking of. His voice was as elastic as his 
face, and his singing as good as his acting. He was in our 
house quite three times a week, it being a convenient halt 
between his home at Fairlight and the town. The days 
seemed brighter when he came. He did his duties as a clergy- 
man most conscientiously ; but his congregation did not appre- 
ciate him, and they were much shocked one Sunday when he 
kept them all out on the edge of the cliff to see the Baltic 
Fleet pass up the Channel till long after the usual time for 
the service to begin, and then talked of it in his sermon, and 
of the men from the Signal Station on those cliffs who were 
in that fleet, and prayed that they might return safely 
again : it was considered a most unorthodox and undignified 

i Early Days and Home Life 29 

Our garden was much of a weedery in those days at 
Hastings, but in spite of neglect many tender shrubs grew 
high in the mild climate and sheltered situation between two 
hills ; myrtle, sweet bay, and fig-trees flourished there. The 
latter tree tempted another artist, Edward Lear, the author of 
the Books of Nonsense, to settle himself as a lodger in the 
cottage of our gardener close by, and finish there his great 
pictures of the Quarries of Syracuse and ThermopylaB, with 
our fig-tree in the foreground of the former, a group of ravens 
in the latter, all of them painted from one old specimen with a 
broken leg, which was fastened to an apple-tree opposite his 
windows. He also painted a great view from Windsor for 
Lord Derby, with some Southdown sheep in the foreground, 
which my father bought on purpose for him, and kept in the 
field within sight of his room a kindness he never forgot, and 
repaid in friendship to his children and grandchildren. He 
was most good-natured in letting us watch him at work, and 
used to wander into our sitting-room through the windows 
at dusk when his work was over, sit down to the piano, and 
sing Tennyson's songs for hours, composing as he went on, 
and picking out the accompaniments by ear, putting the 
greatest expression and passion into the most sentimental 
words. He often set me laughing ; then he would say I was 
not worthy of them, and would continue the intense pathos of 
expression and gravity of face, while he substituted Hey 
Diddle Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle, or some other non- 
sensical words to the same air. I never was able to appreciate 
modern poetry, and still think it is sense worrited, and often 
worrit without the sense. 

In May 1854 my father became again M.P. for Hast- 
ings, being elected without opposition on the death of Mr. 

On the 17th of January 1855 my mother died. Her end 
had come gradually ; for many weeks we felt it was coming. 
She did not suffer, but enjoyed nothing, and her life was a 

30 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

dreary one. She made me promise never to leave my father, 
and did not like any one to move her but him ; he was always 
gentle and ready to help her, and missed her much when she 
was gone, writing in his diary in his own* quaint way : "The 
leader is cut off from the main trunk of our home, no branches, 
no summer shoots can take its place, and I feel myself just an 
old pollard-tree." 

My father let Hastings Lodge, and took a flat in Victoria 
Street. Soon it became more like home than any other to me, 
and was a great rest after the big house at Hastings with its 
perpetual visitors ; for my father tried to be civil to everybody, 
and always knew the principal people who wintered there. 
In our flat we had few servants, and needed no bells, as they 
were all within call. None but real friends came to see us, 
as eighty-seven steps were a trial to any friendship, and kept 
the mere acquaintances away. We had one friend, an old 
retriever dog, who did not mind them at all. He was called 
Jill (his brother Jack having tumbled down and broken his 
crown when young). He and I used to accompany my father 
to Westminster when he went in the morning to his committee- 
work, the dog scampering all over St. James's Park like a 
wild thing till we reached the Abbey, when he was told to go 
home with me. He would put his tail between his legs, his 
nose in my hand, and pace solemnly down Victoria Street by 
my side, never even looking at a dog till he had seen me 
inside the door ; then he would give a sharp bark of joy, and 
gallop back to wait for his master in Westminster Hall, and 
would stay starving there till the small hours of the morning. 
Jill knew all my father's haunts and ways, and if he missed 
him anywhere would go and look for him at the Athenaeum 
about tea-time, where he was often to be seen sitting like a 
sphinx on the steps, much patted by the bishops and other 
great people. All the House of Commons policemen knew 
him, and used to lead him home when the House was counted 
out a mode of proceeding Jill could never understand. His 

i Early Days and Home Life 31 

end was sad ; he was run over by a cab, and we mourned 
a real friend. 

We rode often to the Chiswick Gardens and got speci- 
men flowers to paint ; were also often at Kew, and once when 
there Sir William Hooker gave me a hanging bunch of the 
Amherstia nobilis, one of the grandest flowers in existence. 
It was the first that had bloomed in England, and made me 
long more and more to see the tropics. We often talked of 
going, if ever my father had a holiday long enough. 

London was full of delights for me, though I never went 
through much of the treadmill routine called " Society " ; when 
my father had a holiday he liked to spend it at home. At 
Rougham the usual round of farming, shooting, and petty 
country traffic went on, then back to Hastings with its heavier 
traffic of big dinners and pleasant music parties, half amateur, 
half professional, of which Baron de Tessier, a naturalised 
French refugee, was the centre, his zeal being occasionally 
greater than his skill. One musical evening at Hastings 
Lodge about this period is memorable in my mind. The " Toy 
Symphony " of Romberg was performed with a distinguished 
cast, Mr. H. Brabazon (an accomplished amateur) at the piano, 
while Prosper Sainton and Carl Deichmann took the two 
violins, and Madame Sainton Dolby played the big drum with 
a will. 

Agnes Zimmermann, too, was often there, from the time 
when we first knew her a pale over-thoughtful child of eight, 
to whom little of childish pleasures ever came. She used to 
play Beethoven's sonatas through by heart, perched on a high 
music-stool, till she grew to be the thorough musician she is 
now. She has been one of my life-long friends. 

But the society we enjoyed most was a set of rare old 
friends who came to us every winter, and talked together 
delightfully. My father was no great talker himself, but 
enjoyed listening to others, when his deafness allowed him 
that was his great trouble ; but some voices he always heard, 

32 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

mine especially, however low I spoke. There is no greater 
mistake than to shout to a deaf person. I am quite deaf in 
one ear myself, but the nerves of the other are most tender, 
and some harsh voices give me positive pain. 

Next season we went another way down to Norfolk by 
Harrogate, where an Indian uncle was drinking the waters. 
How that place smelt of sulphur ! Thence to Kendal and 
the Lakes, all a land of delight to us ; and after going the 
usual tourist round, we settled for a week with our old 
friends, the Francis Galtons, near Grasmere, in a farm-house 
on the hillside, to rest and talk in quiet without "moving on." 
After a month of mountain air we returned to the flats of 
Norfolk, where soon after my brother engaged himself to the 
eldest daughter of our neighbour, the Hon. and Kev. Thomas 
Keppel, Kector of North Creake, and they were married on 
the 16th of March 1859. 

After that a stormy Parliamentary session succeeded ; my 
father forming one of a small party of Liberals who called 
themselves then the St. Stephen's Club. 

We let the house at Hastings for that summer (and the 
two next also) to Count Poutiatine, the famous Russian 
Admiral, who ran the blockade of the White Sea so cleverly 
during the war. He had an English wife and a most polyglot 
family. The children talked five languages, besides studying 
all other accomplishments. They had an English tutor, a 
German governess, a French bonne, an Italian valet; they 
studied Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, besides their own difficult 
Russian tongue. Our old housemaid stayed on with them, 
and declared it to be as good as being in the tower of Babel 
to live at Hastings with these people. When the House was 
up we three wandered off abroad, starting by way of Jersey 
for the Pyrenees and Spain, returning in an English ship from 
Cadiz to the Thames on the 3d of January 1860. 

After my brother married, my father gave up the old house 
at Rougham to him, and each summer, when the Parlia- 

Early Days and Home Life 

mentary session was over, we three, with our three old 
portmanteaux (their collective weight nicely calculated under 
the 160 Ibs. allowed on Continental railways), used to start 
forth on some pleasant autumn journey. My father loved 
the deep romantic valleys round the southern slopes of Mont 
Blanc and Monte Rosa, and there summer after summer we 
found ourselves walking over easy passes, with just enough 
of necessaries to be easily carried on an Alpine porter's back, 
staying a while at Macugnaga, Gressonay, Courmayeur, or 
Varallo, till we joined the welcome portmanteaux again at 
some point on the Italian Lakes. Baveno was the place he 
liked best ; it had no huge hotel in those days, but a pretty 
primitive old inn, painted pink, on the Lake shore, with a 
kindly landlord who made old friends welcome. 

In the autumn of 1861 we made a longer journey to 
Trieste, Pola, Fiume, by the Hungarian Lake of Balaton, 
where grew such grapes as I have never seen elsewheie in 
Europe, to Pesth and Debreczin. Here we were lucky enough 
to see the wild humours of a great Hungarian fair, with 
horse-races, and a superb gipsy band. Then down the 
Danube and across the Black Sea to Constantinople, Smyrna, 
Athens, and home by sea to Marseilles. 

The winter of 1863-64 was a merry one. We had a 
succession of nice people staying with us, whom our young 
cousins in the Croft used to describe with youthful flippancy 
as " Old Couples without Encumbrances." Sir Edward and 
Lady Sabine (he was President then of the Royal Society, 
and she no less wise than he, though as unassuming as a 
gentle child), the Benthams, F. Galtons, Erskine Mays, Knoxes, 
and Lady Hawes, with a queer household of polyglot servants. 

The great event of the winter was a fancy ball given at 
Beauport by the Tom Brasseys, most hospitable of youthful 
hosts. Old Mr. Brassey, the father, was a grand specimen of 
an Englishman, with all the instincts of a real gentleman, 
generous, honest, and most simple in all his ways, though he 


34 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

left more than three millions among his three sons. He 
delighted in telling how he had saved up his first hundred 
pounds, and then been helped on by Robert Stephenson. 
Long before we met him we had heard his praises sung at 
Smyrna, for the way he took care of his men and their families 
while making the railway through those feverish plains, 
keeping, at the same time, such discipline among the navvies 
employed, that the English name was not lowered as in other 
remote countries by tales of drunkenness and dishonesty. 

In the summer of '64 we went to Pfeffers, crossed the 
Julier Pass to Samaden and Pontresina, and settled ourselves 
in that paradise of Alpine climbers, the Old Crown Inn. In 
those primitive days it was nearly all built of wood (as was 
also the old Chalet Inn at Miirren), and as the majority of 
its frequenters delighted in getting up in the very smallest 
hours of the morning, putting on heavily-nailed boots, and 
shouting at one another from room to room, it could not be 
called quiet quarters. A merry party of young people were 
collected there, including Mrs. C. and all the Zigzaggers, 
whose adventures our friend Miss Tuckett illustrated so 
capitally, also John Addington Symonds, whom we had met 
at Miirren the previous summer, and Professor Tyndall. The 
latter invited my father to join him in a search-party to look 
for his watch, which had been swept out of his pocket during 
a wild ride on an avalanche. They found the watch (a gold 
one) after many hours, on the glacier, safe under a stone, 
which had sheltered it from the sun's rays. It had quietly 
run itself down, and when wound up went on as merrily as 
usual : so did our brave old father on that adventurous walk. 

Mrs. Gaskell was also at Pontresina at that time, and had 
taken a quiet room outside the village to work in peacefully. 
There she finished a great part of her last story, Wives and 
Daughters. She was very beautiful and gentle, with a sweet- 
toned voice, and a particularly well-formed hand. 

1864. On the 10th of November my sister was married to 

i Early Days and Home Life 35 

John Addington Symonds, in St. Clement's Church, Hastings, 
and narrowly escaped being given away by her masterful 
great-aunt, Lady Waldegrave, instead of her father. That 
old lady had for many years ruled over our family at Hastings 
with no gentle sway, for which its younger members did not 
love her, but she was the last of a generation now long passed 
away, and her stories of the good old smuggling days and the 
primitive ways and dissipations of the Hastings fashionables 
of her youth would have been worth chronicling. 

1865. In July came a general election, when my father 
lost his seat by only nine votes. As it is an ill wind that 
blows nobody good, we were able to utilise this period of 
unwished-for leisure, and carry out a long-cherished plan of a 
journey to the East. He and I started from Trieste by the 
Austrian Lloyd boat, which coasts the Adriatic by Spalatro, 
Ragusa, and Cattaro, spending eleven unwilling days in 
quarantine in the harbour at Corfu : then going by Beyrout 
to Damascus. 

We spent the winter on a Nile boat, going as far as 
Assouan ; the spring of the following year in Syria, returning 
to England early in the summer of 1866 by Carinthia and 

We did not stay much in London that next season, 1867, 
but devoted ourselves to the Hastings garden. My father 
built three glass-houses : one for orchids, another for temperate 
plants, and another quite cool for vines and cuttings. We 
lived in those houses all the spring, my father smoking and 
reading in the temperate regions, where we had a table and 
chairs, while I washed and doctored all the sick plants, and 
potted off the young seedlings. It was delightful work, and 
though the constant change from damp tropical heat to cold 
English east winds brought on a most irritable rash on my 
face and hands, I thought the pleasure of seeing the growing 
wonders compensated amply for the pain. We established 
water-pipes all through the garden, so that we could give 

36 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

the plants any quantity of irrigation, and we had all sorts 
of shady nooks under the great bay -trees, every variety of 
aspect and ground, and could grow most things well. We 
used to work like slaves, and were often working till it 
became too dark to see our flowers any longer, having only 
a young Wiltshire gardener of eighteen to help us, with a 
Eougham boy under him, and Garibaldi the poodle to look 
on. That dog was supremely wise ; as a puppy he had been 
the hero of a story which Miss Cobbe has rendered classical. 
We had gene to a play in London. Baldi was left in the 
dining-room, with the supper ready laid on the table. He 
took a pigeon out of the pie and ate it, then looked about till 
he found the sponge my father used to wipe his pens on, then 
put it in the pie in the place of the pigeon, where our old 
servant Elizabeth found it. He was very fond of being 
washed, and used to collect all the things he considered neces- 
sary for the ceremony as soon as he saw his bath put out, and 
bringing them to it, sit by its side till told to get in : towels, 
sponges, old boots, gloves all sorts of things he always 
brought together. His devotion to his master was most 
touching, and he seemed to understand if he was ill. 

Another pet we had then, who was equally devoted to him 
alone, a green paroquet with a beautiful rosy ring round its 
neck. I saw a Times advertisement one day from an old 
soldier who had got a place as railway guard, and wanted 
to find a home for his parrot, not having time to look after 
it, so I answered it, and bought it. It called itself Jewy, and 
as it had always been in a regiment among men it hated the 
sight of a woman, and always flew at me, but attached itself 
aTonce to its master. It would fly to him whenever he came 
in, sit on his shoulder, kiss him, feed him, and say all it 
could say over and over again. If he went to sleep, it would 
walk gently over him, saying " Hush ! What's the matter ? " 
to any one who moved. We had a third pet and gem of all 
that year at Hastings my sister's little girl Janet, the most 

i Early Days and Home Life 37 

fairy -like little creature, with grave thinking eyes which 
brightened up with extraordinary intelligence when one 
talked or sang to her. I can never forget the pretty 
pictures she made, poking her way through the long uncut 
grass stalks, great ox-eyed daisies, red sorrel and clover, and 
the odd little flower-arrangements she used to make, pulling 
off the heads and buds, with no stalks, mixing them up with 
feathers, pebbles, and shells. She wanted no expensive toys ; 
the garden was her bazaar, and all nature her delight. 1 

After this came two more short journeys to the Italian 
Tyrol and to Mentone and the South of France. Then in 
November 1868 George Waldegrave's resignation brought on 
again the worries and work of a contested election. My father 
and Mr. Brassey came in with a large majority, but a petition 
to unseat them was at once lodged by the opposite party. 

It was most galling to my poor old father, who had been 
all his life fighting against bribery. It is best to write no 
more on the subject, as it would only bore readers and injure 
my own temper. The very implication of corrupt practices 
broke his heart, though he knew his name was only dragged 
in from his connection with Mr. Brassey, who had the reputa- 
tion of great wealth, but who always behaved most thoughtfully 
towards him in the whole matter. 

It was a wretched year at Hastings, though all our kind 
old friends came down to cheer us with their company the 
George Normans, Sabines, Benthams, etc. Then my father 
resumed his old work in Parliament, but his spirit was broken 
and his health declining. However, the suspense came to an 
end at last, and after five days' trial Mr. Justice Blackburn 
dismissed the petition with costs on the 17th of April 1869, 
our excellent old tenant at Rougham, Mr. Kinger, paying in 
his half-year's rent some months beforehand, as he said he 
" feared the Squire must have had some expense about the 

1869. On the 4th of August we started for Gastein by way 
1 Janet H. Symonds died at Davos, April 1887. 

38 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP, i 

of Frankfort. That journey is so full of painful remembrances 
that I shall make the note of it as short as possible. After a 
few days' rest at Salzburg we posted on to Gastein, and got 
our old rooms at the Hirsch. He grew so strong in a fortnight 
that he planned walking over the hills to Heiligenblut eighteen 
hours ! We went up an Alp 3000 feet above Gastein to try 
our powers. He came back so well that he went up another 
hill the next day, leaving me to rest at home, but it was too 
much ; his old disease returned. We hastened down to Salz- 
burg, where the doctor advised us to get home. At Munich 
he arrived in the greatest state of suffering. The people at 
the inn were kind, and persuaded me to go for Dr. Kanke. 
At last I got him safe home. He was so glad to be there, and 
to see Catherine and his friends again, that they would not 
believe how ill he was. Even his old friend and doctor, Mr. 
Ticehurst, did not discover it at first. After a last three days 
of exhaustion and sleep he ceased to live on the 29th of 
October. The last words in his mouth were, " Come and give 
me a kiss, Pop, I am only going to sleep." He never woke 
again, and left me indeed alone. I wished to be so ; I could 
not bear to talk of him or of anything else, and resolved to 
keep out of the way of all friends and relations till I had 
schooled myself into that cheerfulness which makes life 
pleasant to those around us. I left the house at Hastings for 
ever, and my affairs in the hands of our kind old friend Mr. 
Hunt of Lewes. 

She took with her owr old servant Elizabeth, and started for 
Mentone, then after a while by slow journeys along the Riviera to 
Sicily, where the whole of the following spring was spent and many 
sketches made. In the summer of 1870 she returned to take up life 
done in the flat in Victoria Street, which was henceforth to be her 




I HAD long had the dream of going to some tropical country 
to paint its peculiar vegetation on the spot in natural abundant 
luxuriance; so when my friend Mrs. S. asked me to come 
and spend the summer with her in the United States, I 
thought this might easily be made into a first step for carrying 
out my plan, as average people in England have but a very 
confused idea of the difference between North and South 
America. I asked Charles Kingsley and others to give me 
letters to Brazil and the West Indies, his book At Last having 
added fuel to the burning of my rage for seeing the Tropics. 

1871. On the 12th of July I joined my old friend Mrs. S. 
at Liverpool, the next day we packed ourselves into a comfort- 
able cabin on board the Cunard steamer Malta, and moved 
away westward. It was rough, and a young French officer 
thought he was dying, sent for Mrs. S., and asked her to take 
his last will and testament to his betrothed at Boston. He 
wished her also to ask the captain to stop and let him out, and 
he would go on by the next ship. He also wanted her to make 
the steward bring him some pudding he called " by and by," 
which the latter was always promising .and never brought. 
My friend promised to do all he wished, and that consoled 
him, and he didn't die. 

The very sight of Mrs. S. did any one good ; her head was 
covered with little curls of pure silver, her complexion was very 

4O Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

fair, and she wore a purple knitted cobweb pinned on the back 
of her head, and diamond earrings. She was full of jokes and 
continual fits of laughter, her quaint American accent making 
her talk all the more amusing. She had a very pretty, but 
perfectly useless little French maid, and an enormous quantity 
of luggage, which was the plague of the little maid's life, for 
she could never find anything that was wanted, and used to 
wring her hands and exclaim "quel horreur!" at everything her 
mistress required. The people on board were a very uninterest- 
ing set of Yankees first class, and Irish second. The latter 
made a terrible noise all night, and the ship's officers did not 
keep any sort of order amongst them. The last night both 
ends of the ship were in such a state of uproariousness that we 
shut both our door and windows to keep out the row, and 
were nearly stifled in consequence. 

After the usual scares of fog and icebergs we arrived safely 
in Boston harbour, and F. S. was soon on board, coming out 
with the pilot to meet us, and accompany us in through its 
many islands, crowded with all kinds of sailing and steaming 
vessels and many pleasure -yachts. He employed his leisure 
moments in cramming me with stories about the inhabitants, 
aborigines, etc. etc., till wo were sore with laughing. Yankee 
stories cannot be written ; it is the dry peculiar way a clever 
American tells them that gives them their charm. The 
Custom-house kept us a weary while. The officers were all 
smoking and in no hurry, but they liked to see others work. 
As there were no porters, F. and I had to collect and carry all 
the boxes, which were distributed about a barn-like building 
in hopeless confusion, having to be hunted up out of its holes 
and corners. It was warm work, and I rather wished for a 
little less independence and more activity on the part of the 
gentlemen who were smoking and looking on at our exertions. 
There were no cabs, but we got into a great lumbering thing 
like a mourning-coach, and sent on the luggage by an "express," 
which means "come some time." Our horses, after shying 

ii Canada and United States 41 

right round at a railway train which whizzed past just across 
their heads, were driven on to a ferry-boat, which seemed to 
consist of two long square tunnels with a steam-engine in the 
middle, which with much puffing and groaning crossed the 
harhour, and landed us on the other side, together with a 
whole string of carriages, and we drove over the badly 
paved streets to the Somerset Club, from which F. brought 
out a most delicious bouquet of roses and jasmine and other 
sweet flowers for me, besides several old friends who came to 
welcome his mother home again. Then we called at her old 
house in Beacon Street, a sort of Park Lane looking over the 
public gardens. It was built, like all the other houses, of a 
beautiful dark red sandstone, with silver handles and knockers 
to the doors. 

Then we drove out to Newton, about six miles into the 
country, where Mrs. F. and the baby welcomed us, and next 
day she drove me into the lanes, where I found many new 
plants ; one of the Sweet Gale tribe, called Comptonia, was 
very common by the road -side, and had a delicious scent ; 
they called it " Sweet Fern," and indeed its leaf had a brown 
furry back, and was much like our ceterach; its leaves are 
sometimes dried for smoking instead of tobacco. Large- 
leaved oaks, white pines, hemlock spruce and arbor vitse 
hedges, wych-elms and maples, all showed one was not in 

We finished our drive by a visit to " Jamaica plain " and 
its famous confectioner: tied up our pony to a post, then 
went inside and ate the largest " ice-creams " in a small and 
perfectly undecorated room. I was also introduced to cocoa- 
nut cakes and iced gingerbread, all first-rate, and then taken 
to see Mrs. S.'s garden, also a model dairy, with great 
lumps of ice slowly melting in it, and a regular stove and hot- 
water pipes for keeping it to the same temperature in winter, 
a new idea to English brains. 

In the evening we dined with the parents of my hostess 

42 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

at Brookline in the midst of another pretty garden : the whole 
piazza round the house was covered by one creeper a fruitless 
vine, a dense mass of foliage. After dinner we strolled through 
the near garden and plantations to the top of a little hill to 
see a flaming sunset amid great thunder-clouds, and returned 
to the piazza for tea, when other neighbours joined us. The 
dinner-hour was generally four or five in these country houses, 
so that one could always have a stroll or a drive afterwards 
to enjoy the beautiful sunsets and evening coolness before 
tea-time and darkness came. I found very little dressing-up 
necessary, far less than in England. 

After three days Mrs. S. and I settled ourselves in the 
house she had taken near West Manchester. It was built on 
the foundation of a fort or tower on the rocks, against which 
the sea washed on three sides at high water ; the rocks were 
tinted with pink, red, brown, and gray, and above high-water 
mark with soft gray, green, and yellow lichens, wild grass, and 
scrub : there was no garden, and we wanted none. On the 
west side the sea ran up into a little sandy bay, the very ideal 
of a bathing-place ; a few steps would take us down into it 
from the back door. On the east side were holes under the 
steep rocks, where we could find water at the very lowest 
tides, and these were almost as easily reached for bathing. 
So we bought some stuff to make bathing-dresses at " John 
Loring's, one price-dry-goods-warehouse " in Boston. Mrs. S. 
had chosen one of scarlet serge, I one of dark blue -gray, 
so that we looked much like two large lobsters in the water, 
one boiled, the other unboiled, but spectators were not com- 
mon; we had three houses within sight, but none of them 
within half a mile. There were endless islands on the coast, 
and a lighthouse a mile off, which used to keep its bell per- 
petually tolling when there was any fog or mist ; it was deli- 
ciously wild and quiet, with a beautiful mixture of rocks and 
green, and even a bit of marsh near, with tall bulrushes, 
reeds, and ferns, butterflies and wild flowers. Boats, with 

ii Canada and United States 43 

their clear reflections, were constantly passing over the bay, 
and the sea was an exquisite blue in the hot noondays, when 
I used to sit in the balcony or piazza which ran all round 
the outside of the house, as in most New England houses : on 
one side there was always shade and cool air, even on the 
hottest days. Our landlord's Newfoundland dog used to pay 
us many visits, and stand any length of time in the water 
watching me, in hopes of a stone being thrown in and giving him 
an excuse for a swim. The house had only just been built, 
and was furnished with clean new-polished fir-wood or basket- 
work, with Indian matting on the floor. Mrs. S. used to 
go up to her town house and bring down pretty things, 
brackets, and books, until she soon made it look most home- 
like. We had a fat cook, who had imported herself from Ireland 
twenty years before, but had not yet exchanged the brogue 
for the twang; a housemaid, who left her husband to come 
back to her old mistress; and Marguerite of France, who 
looked pretty and waited well, saying continually, "que je 
suis bete moi ! " and " quelle horreur ! " at everything new, 
especially grasshoppers and spiders, occasionally jumping on 
chairs to avoid them. 

We used to go for a drive of an evening, and bring home 
great bunches of scarlet lobelia, which they called the 
"Cardinal Flower," white orchids, and grand ferns, smilax, 
sweet bay, sumach, and meadow flowers, to dress up our pretty 
rooms. The railway station was about four minutes' walk 
from our house a shed with three chairs and a red flag, which 
we stuck up on the end of a bamboo placed there for that 
purpose if we wanted the train to stop. Newspapers and 
letters were thrown out by the guard as he passed ; whoever 
happened to be going that way picked them up and distri- 
buted them, tossing ours in at any door or window that 
happened to be open: we had also a post-box, No. 115, at 
West Manchester, in which letters were sometimes found and 
brought over by friends. 

44 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

Every day some fresh things were sent down to our little 
house; first a huge piano of Chickering's which filled two- 
thirds of the parlour, and, our captain said, " almost made the 
fish jump out of the water to hear it ! " This captain was our 
only man, and a sort of king of the coast fishermen : he used 
to tie his boats to our rocks, and do " odd chores " for us, and 
I soon made fast friends with him. One day Mrs. S. 
arrived at the station with seventeen large parcels of pillows, 
books, pictures, etc. etc., and I asked the captain to come and 
help me to fetch them home : " Wall now, you hain't got a 
wheelbarrow, have you ? " And I answered : " Wall now, if 
you had only mentioned it in time I'd have brought one over 
from England with me, but I didn't know you'd want it." On 
which the captain winked at me, and did without it. 

We had a carriage with skeleton wheels, and used to drive 
along the shores to a real forest, which had never been any- 
thing else, though the trees were not very high. Kalmias 
and magnolias grew there, but the flowers were over. The 
cottages too were often 100 or 180 years old, and all were 
built of wood. 

It was an idle enjoyable place, but the heat was too dry 
and glaring for much work. F. kept us supplied with 
American papers, coming backwards and forwards himself 
for a night at a time, boiling over with jokes and stories, and 
making us laugh till we cried. Sometimes I also used to take 
a hot day in Boston, sorting and packing with my friend; 
once I persuaded her to rest there quietly till morning, and 
started home myself, with a lot of her odds and ends, in the 
evening. I "got along " all right, merely getting into a wrong 
train, having to wait a while and change at Beverly, which was 
clear gain, as I could study the manners and customs of the 
jiatives. The guards took most kind care of me, and lifted 
my odd parcels in and out of the trains for me, including a 
huge basket of crockery, full of ornamental " vayser," a tin 
box of butter with ice gradually melting its way out, six 

ii Canada and United States 45 

parcels tied to two baskets of fruit, one of which came open 
on the platform and discharged peaches with marvellous 
rolling powers, one red bag, and a parcel of umbrellas, that 
was all ! ... There are no porters in America, but every one 
is courteous and helpful if you are civil too. When F. 
sent letters or papers to his mother by our landlord, who went 
to and fro to Boston every day, he always wrote outside, 
"By the extreme politeness of Mr. B.," and the old gentle- 
man or his son turned out of their way to bring them up to 
our piazza with many bows, and we gave them many thanks 
and curtseys in return. Curtseys are still practised in New 
England, and one soon got into the habit of the thing too 
Americans on first landing among us must be much struck by 
our want of manners. 

The trains used to mark the hours at "West Manchester, 
and on Sundays, when there were none, I never knew how 
time went, and wondered that we got our meals as usual. 
The food on those days was always extra good huckleberry- 
puddings with cream were quite divine, and corn-cakes and 
chowder, a most glorious compound of codfish, soup, and 
crackers, not to be tasted off that coast from the St. Lawrence 
down to the Hudson. There were no " classes " in the train ; 
but one night the ladies were invited to go into another car, 
as the workmen would be coming in and there would be plenty 
of smoking, " which ladies did not always like," the conductor 
explained to me. Tickets are taken and paid for in the 
cars. One day we went in them to Lynn, a town which is 
entirely inhabited by shoemakers; indeed all the country 
round is famous for that work, as the ground is so dry that 
agriculturists get but a poor living from it alone. Nearly 
every small farmer has a shoe-shop for spare hours and 
winter work. From Lynn we drove over a mile or two of 
sandy causeway, with sea on both sides, to the former Islands 
of Nohant, now a fashionable watering-place. Even there 
the houses were all detached, standing well apart, unpreten- 

46 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

tious wooden buildings with verandahs round them like ours. 
Longfellow was living in the house of his brother-in-law, Mr. 
A. The latter had invited us to dinner, and then gone out 
on a yachting excursion, which every one said " was just like 
him " ; but the grand old poet with his daughters was ex- 
pecting us under the piazza, and his kind sweet gentleness of 
manner and pleasant talk quite fascinated me. We spent 
some most delightful hours listening to him, then missed our 
train, and had to return in a slow luggage train. Another 
day we dined with some friends in the country and sat all 
the afternoon watching the little green humming-birds darting 
about the nasturtium flowers trained over the verandah. 
They used to build their nests in the apple-trees near, and 
come back year after year to the same trees, but my friends 
had never marked them particularly, and could not tell 
if they were the same birds. 

On our way back that night we met a wooden house of 
three storeys being moved some hundred yards on rollers by 
means of a windlass. It entirely filled the road, and we had 
to drive over a field to get out of its way. The Bostonians 
have even moved large stone houses bodily in the same way 
for some small distance. 

I paid a visit to Mr. and Mrs. Adams at Quincy, one of the 
oldest houses in America, full of curious family portraits and 
furniture, large low rooms, big open fireplaces, many windows, 
and old brocade hangings. Except for the outside being 
entirely of wood, it might have been taken for a two hundred 
years old manor house in England. 

Mr. A. had lately added a stone fireproof library, 
detached, in the garden, to keep all his precious books and 
manuscripts in, for he had whole volumes of Washington's 
letters, and many besides written by all his greatest country- 
men. His father and grandfather had both been Presidents ; 
he might have been one himself, but he never would allow 
himself to be put forward as a political candidate at home, 

n Canada and United States 47 

though he was long his country's representative in England. 
He was a remarkably quiet man, but his good wife made up 
for it, and her genial chatter used to make him sit and shake 
with laughter. It was a very pleasant family to be in, all 
the sons and his daughter had such a thorough respect for 
their parents, and when he did speak he was always worth 
listening to. The two elder sons had built houses within 
ten minutes' walk of their father's, and came in every evening 
to have a talk with him, going into Boston in the morning 
to their business and back by rail. Their children and wives 
were in and out all day long. From Colonel A.'s house there 
was a glorious view over sea and land, the former being about 
a mile off, and the whole coast broken up by estuaries, 
islands, and points connected by low isthmuses, so that one 
could never feel quite sure where the sea began and the land 
ended, being in that respect much like the island of Kugen. 

The floors, staircases, and chimney-pieces were of different 
sorts of wood black walnut, butternut, hickory, ash, and 
pine beautifully put together, with very little ornament, 
sometimes a line or simple geometrical pattern cut and filled 
with blue or red, and the rich natural colour of the wood kept 
as a ground-work. Though the house was on the top of a 
hill there was abundant water everywhere. In the old 
house at Quincy was one room wainscoted with polished 

I heard an American story of Lord Grosvenor, who, when 
travelling, met a Yankee in the train, who asked him how he 
got his living and what trade he followed. He said, "he didn't 
do anything, and his father supported him." " What a dear 
old gentleman ! How will you ever manage to live when he 
dies ? " An American cannot understand that a son succeeds 
to his father's property ; they are all expected to make their 
fortune for themselves, and it is considered almost a disgrace 
for a young man to have " nothing to do." I went one day 
with the S.s to see the free library in Boston, a splendid 

48 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

building. Any one who is introduced by a note from any 
householder in the city may not only read, but take home the 
books. I saw quite young girls and boys, as well as numbers 
of men and women, reading there. Another good institution 
in Boston was the ladies' room attached to the Somerset Club, 
at which I often dined or lunched with Mrs. S., F. or one of 
the other members passing us in. There were nice dressing- 
rooms, and a reading-room, as well as a refreshment-room 
expressly reserved for ladies belonging to the members. 

The C. F.s were spending the summer near us at West 
Manchester, and were very good to me when Mrs. S. was 
away. He was partner of Ticknor, and editor of the Atlantic 
Monthly, and she a pretty poetess who went into floods of 
tears at the mere mention of Charles Dickens, whose name 
resembled that of his own " Mrs. 'Arris " in their mouths, and 
their room was hung all round with portraits of their 

I enjoyed my expeditions with him and his wife. Ho 
invited me to meet Mrs. Agassiz at a picnic one day, and called 
for me in his pony carriage, picked her up at the railway 
station, and drove us to one of the many beautiful high 
headlands on the coast ; then we walked over the cliffs to find 
a most curious old cedar-tree, perfectly shaved at the top like 
an umbrella pine by the sea winds, with its branches matted 
and twisted in the most fantastical way underneath, and 
clinging to the very edge of the precipice, its roots being 
tightly wedged into a crack without any apparent earth to 
nourish it. It was said to be of unknown antiquity, and 
there was no other specimen of such a cedar in the country ; 
it looked to me like the common sort we call red cedar. We 
sat and talked a long while under its shade. Mrs. Agassiz 
and I agreed that the greatest pleasure we knew was to see 
new and wonderful countries, and the only rival to that 
pleasure was the one of staying quietly at home. Only 
ignorant fools think because one likes sugar one cannot like 

ii Canada and United States 49 

salt; those people are only capable of one idea, and never 

try experiments. 

Mrs. A. was a most agreeable handsome woman ; she had 
begun life as a rich ball-going young lady, then, on her father 
losing his fortune, she had started a girls' school to support her 
family, and finally married the clever old Swiss professor, 
whose children were already settled in the world. She made 
an excellent stepmother as well as travelling companion, 
putting his voyages and lectures together in such a manner 
that the Americans had a riddle, " Why were Agassiz's Travels 
like a mermaiden 1 " " Because you could not tell where the 
woman ended and the fish began ! " The Professor was a 
great pet of the Americans, who were then just fitting up a 
new exploring ship for him to go on a ten months' voyage to 
Cape Horn and the Straits of Magellan to hunt for prehistoric 
fish in comfort. She told me much of the wonders and 
delights of her famous Amazon expedition, and promised me 
letters there if I went. After a delightful morning we drove 
on to the woods behind Mr. F.'s house, and found luncheon 
spread for us, Mrs. T. and her sister, in white aprons and caps, 
acting servant-maids and waiting on us. Mr. F. let off a 
perfect cascade of anecdotes, and then I was taken into the 
house to do my part of the entertainment and sing for an hour, 
which I grudged much, as I preferred listening ; but I sup- 
pose they liked it, as one of the ladies wept bitterly. After 
this we had tea on the piazza, and looked down on the 
great wild cliffs and deep blue sea a thousand feet below us. 

Another day I went by street-car from Boston to Cam- 
bridge, and met two pretty girls, who spoke to me and told 
me they were the Miss Longfellows. When we got to the 
end of the journey, their father came and took me for a walk 
round the different Colleges, and home to have lunch with 
him in the house Washington used to live in. It was quite in 
what we English call the Queen Anne style, with plenty of 
fine trees round it, and large wainscoted rooms full of pictures 


50 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

and pretty things. The luncheon was worthy of a poet 
nothing but cakes and fruit, and cold tea with lumps of ice in 
it; he was a model poet to listen to and look at, with his 
snow-white hair, eager eyes, and soft gentle manner and voice, 
full of pleasant unpractical talk, quite too good for everyday 
use. He showed me all his treasures, and asked me to come 
and stay with them if I returned to Boston, after which he 
showed me the way to Mrs. A.'s house. I found her and the 
Professor even more to my mind; he spoke funny broken 
English, and looked entirely content with himself and every- 
body else. They showed me photographs and told me of all 
the wonders of Brazil, and what I was to do there, then gave 
me a less poetical dinner. Then Mrs. Agassiz took me to the 
Museum and made Count Pourtalez take us up to the attic to 
see the most perfect collection of palms in the world (all 
mummies), intensely interesting, as illustrating the world's 
history. Mrs. Agassiz showed me the great sheath of one of 
the flowers, which native mothers use as a cradle and also as 
a baby's bath, it being quite water-tight. The flowers of some 
of the palms were two to three yards long. She said, though 
she had wandered whole days in the forests, she had never 
seen a snake nor a savage beast. One day she heard a great 
crashing through the tangle and felt rather frightened, when a 
harmless milk-cow came out. After seeing the palms she 
caught a German professor and made him show us a most 
splendid collection of gorgeous butterflies : I never saw any so 
beautiful ; they were all locked up in dark drawers, as the 
light faded them. Then came corals and madrepores. 

I missed my train and had to wait at Boston for the last. 
I was rather astonished by the conductor putting his lantern 
up to my face and saying, " You are Miss North *[ " He only 
laughed when I said " Yes," and I found Mrs. S. considered 
me lost, and had been raising a hue and cry after me. Another 
day I went by invitation to see Miss Cushman, who was 
staying with friends near Beverly ; she was very entertaining 

ii Canada and United States 5 1 

and kind, and sang me three songs in a most impassioned 

Before we left the coast the sumach was turning geranium 
colour, and one little hill near looked as if it were burning with 
it. The red berberry bushes were also a beautiful deep tint. 
I found lots of creeping moss with corkscrew shoots above 
ground, and the root creeping underneath for twenty yards or 
more, sending up its pretty branches at every joint. 

At last Mrs. S. made up her mind to the long-talked-of 
journey to Canada, and we started with an enormous quantity 
of luggage. We were five hours in the train, passing through 
a prettily wooded country dotted with bright autumn colours, 
and saw many varieties of people : as there are no classes in 
the long American carriages, all sorts are mixed up together. 
One girl had a large tom-cat on her knee, who did not like 
travelling, and panted with his tongue out like a dog all the 
way, every now and then giving most dismal mews. 

Iced water in a tin kettle with mugs walked backwards and 
forwards through the cars ; we bought a right to drink this 
with our tickets ; apples, pears, popped corn and cakes, as 
well as Isabella grapes (with the strawberry flavour), were also 
brought for sale ; I believe these grapes are the original wild 
vine of America. At Alton we left the cars, and a steamer 
brought us over the beautiful lake of Winnepiseogee, through 
its 365 islands, under the light of a great full moon. The 
lake was ten miles long, and the hills sloped gradually one 
over the other up to the white mountain-tops of 6000 feet. 
The views by daylight were very curious, owing to the 
gorgeous colouring of the maples and sycamores ; nothing but 
our most brilliant geranium -beds could rival the dazzling 
variety of reds and crimsons, and the blue Michaelmas-daisies 
made tiny pyramids of colour in the foreground, the white 
ones looking like miniature fir-trees loaded with snow. The 
lake was particularly lovely on that gray rainy day, with all 
its countless islands in their gay autumn dress ; its beautiful 

52 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

Indian name, " The Smile of the Great Spirit," seemed to suit 
it well. Its hotel was my first experience of the regular 
American boarding-house; from six till nine there was an 
endless breakfast, twelve to three dinner, and five to eight 
supper, with an enormous list of dishes for each individual to 
choose from and order for himself piles of hot cakes like 
pancakes, pumpkin-pies made with treacle and eaten with 
Cheshire cheese, a huge fish called holibat, and chowder 
and ice-cream. The season was nearly over, and the few 
remaining guests were much like old German boarders, and 
not interesting. 

The Glen House had been shut up for ten days, and the 
landlord had to be much persuaded to take us in at all, and 
said we must be content to have such fare as he and his family 
lived on (he looked particularly sleek and fat), and he showed 
us into a dining-saloon intended for 400 or 500 people. He 
gradually thawed, and said we might stay the night if we liked 
and take the chance of the weather being fit for driving up 
Mount Washington the next day. There was a railway up on 
the other side, but it had ceased to run for the season. Mean- 
time I went down among the river boulders and got an exquisite 
subject, with some orange and carmine maples bending over 
the water, and lemon-coloured feathery birch amongst the dark 
pines (spruce firs loaded with cones) and cypresses. 

At one of the cascades we visited there was a table laid out 
with birch-bark baskets of popped corn, gingerbread nuts, and 
apples, and a slate on which was written, " Visitors are begged 
to help themselves and to leave five cents for each article taken" 
. . . which showed the neighbourhood to be honest. We passed 
one little settlement of about three cottages, a meeting-house, 
and an inn, which called itself Jackson's City ; but with that 
exception, and one or two isolated farms, we saw nothing but 
forest all the way. We passed over several rivers on most 
crazy bridges, built for the purpose of being carried away in 
winter by the ice. The coachman said : " Yes, we has enough 

IT Canada and United States 53 

hunting in winter ; there's big de-ars, and be-ars and foxes, 
and coons, and sometimes we traps them, and sometimes we 
puts the dogs arter them." Then we jolted on again to the 
railway and secured sleeping-shelves for the night. I had a 
good talk with the conductor, a coachman from Bridgewater, 
who had come out to make a fortune, had ridden races and 
driven a coach, and finally got a berth on the railway, and 
thought he should stick to it if it did not kill him; "but 
railway accidents was common in that country." After which 
agreeable information I slept well on my shelf, in spite of a 
most suffocating stove and no ventilation, and woke up in 
Canada the next morning near Quebec. 

The city seemed to stand up on its hill like Corfu, and the 
river was almost hidden by the enormous quantity of floating 
timber or lumber. The last boat was going up the Saguenay 
in a day or two, but it was far too cold to enjoy such an 
expedition. Quebec seemed to me a mongrel place, with 
English-looking streets, and French quarters, Irish villages, 
and Indian settlements, and the climate was odd. I was 
freezing in a cloth jacket, and I found my beautiful friend 
Mrs. D. in a white muslin dress. She went round her garden 
in the same costume, and seemed to think the air quite genial. 
She showed me posts stuck up across the fields to mark the 
road by which they sleighed over the tops of the fences in 
winter when they were all deeply buried in snow. She was 
very charming, and though brought up so luxuriously had no 
maid, and attended most minutely to her household and 
children. Her house was quite covered with deep claret- 
coloured Virginian creeper, and a scarlet and crimson maple- 
tree shaded it on one side. I never saw anything more gorgeous 
than the colouring of her garden hanging over the high cliff 
above the St. Lawrence, four miles from Quebec, near the 
place where the English troops under Wolfe mounted and 
surprised the French in the war. I stayed two days with 
the D.s, and Mr. D. took me down before breakfast by a 

54 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

lovely path through the wood, from his garden to the cove 
below, to see his men at work on the timber, shaping and 
smoothing the ends in the neatest way with their axes. He 
had quite a small colony of his own down there. He took me 
also for a drive in a native carriage to the pretty little golden 
lake of Beaufort. The hills were quite dazzling with colour, 
dark tall pines standing up against the rounder foliage. There 
was a little inn and a ball-room in which they had picnics in 
summer and sledging parties in winter. It seemed difficult to 
say which season the Canadians enjoyed most, but I am sure 
the winter would be far too long for me. However, Canadian 
people seemed very happy, and we had a merry dinner-party 
of fourteen that night. 

I resisted all invitations to stay, and went off to see the 
Falls of Montmorency. It was an afternoon of perpetual 
storms, then bright sunshine, and then storms again. The 
great fall looked particularly fine under those varying lights 
and shades. A river as big as the Avon falling sheer 250 feet, 
and yet every particle of water seemed to fall separately like 
grains of sand; it was very fascinating. I walked through 
the woods and across the fields to the natural steps where the 
same river tumbles in a narrow crack through layers of "stink- 
limestone," the guide -boy called it. It had the strongest 
sulphur smell when freshly broken, and the formation was 
very odd. I lingered long on the heights, seeing the storm- 
clouds gather over Quebec, and curious rainbows which formed 
and melted away again. It was an enchanting spot, and I 
sent the boy to fetch my things just for the pleasure of linger- 
ing there alone. Close by was a poor used-up dead horse, 
closely watched by his friend, a black dog. The poor thing 
would not leave it, but nestled close to it, licking it and 
whining, then came up to me with tears in its soft brown eyes, 
and its tail tucked tight between its legs, asking me to help its 
friend as plainly as a dog could ask anything, seeming to know 
how willingly I would have helped if I could. It made me 

ii Canada and United States 55 

cry too. At last the storm came ; the good old landlady of the 
small inn came out to me with her umbrella in case I had none, 
and I went home and gossiped with her. She had three rooms 
to let, and artists often came to stay with her. 

Parkman's book made me anxious to see the Indian village 
of Loretta, so I drove over to the chief's house first, who, 
though said to be of pure blood, looked more like a well-bred 
Frenchman. He sold me some moose -hair work. Then I 
went to see some of the less civilised and more interesting 
people, making friends with one young man with long lank 
hair and high cheek-bones. I got him to take me into the 
school. The children were a sight worth seeing; plenty of 
genuine Indian faces among them, mixed up with French. 
They had beautiful large black eyes, and they seemed very 
happy. They sang me several wild Indian hymns with soft- 
sounding words, in minor keys, with regular rhythm. The 
schoolmistress said they had never been written down. In 
winter there were as many as 300 Hurons in the village, but 
in summer they were spread about, some hunting, and some 
doing small pedlaring at watering-places in the way our gipsies 
do at home. 

We started that same afternoon up the river to Montreal 
in a big top-heavy river steamer with grand saloons and com- 
fortable sleeping-cabins opening off them. There was a supper- 
table so long no one could see the end of it. I sat next the 
captain, a modest practical little man, who went with me into 
the baggage-hole the next morning himself to dig out Mrs. S.'s 
tremendous boxes. 

I found friends, the De L.s, who had once dined with us 
in England, and who were one of the oldest French families in 
Canada, still retaining all the characteristics of their nation. 
They were most hospitable. The next morning we went up 
by rail to La Chine, and then were carried over the rapids 
back again in a steamer. The white waves stretched across 
from shore to shore quite two miles, and we went over them, 

56 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

and glided past a huge bell-glass of water through which we 
saw the dark rock. The waves danced so fiercely against one 
another, it took my breath away for a moment or two, and 
then it was over. We soon came under the huge bridge over 
which our old friend Mr. Brassey spent so much time and 
thought. It is truly one of the wonders of the world, but very 
ugly. Then we went up the other great river to Ottawa, with 
the wood-ashes from the burning forests, a hundred or more 
miles off, falling on the steamer's deck and making us sneeze 
all the way. 

Mr. and Mrs. D. and myself had set our hearts on seeing 
the Thousand Islands. The result was not interesting, but we 
did not repent waiting for the steam up the St. Lawrence, 
which was glorious, with its endless islands, some mere rocks, 
some miles in length, and all covered with trees in their gay 
autumn dresses, beautiful both in cloud and sunshine. For 
three days the air had been thick and hot with smoke ; our 
eyes smarted, our lips cracked. People said it was from 
Chicago, but it was really from the forests, and had come 
even nearer, some twelve miles off from us; the sun only 
showed itself as a red ball of fire every now and then 
through the smoky atmosphere. We rushed through King- 
ston and Toronto, and arrived at ten o'clock at night to find 
comfortable rooms at the Clifton Station Hotel, kept by an old 
Swiss courier, "Rosli." 

I was fairly tired out the next morning, but the quiet 
homely quarters suited me, and I determined to stay quiet at 
least a fortnight so as to enjoy and sketch Niagara at my 
leisure. It was so cold that I was glad of the two miles' walk 
back from the falls, after getting half-frozen over my sketching 
all day. The season was over, the big hotels nearly closed, 
and the wooden shops were being moved away bodily on 
rollers to other and warmer quarters for the winter. But 
the natives took the greatest interest in my work, and made 
several offers to buy it. A woman at a toll-gate, near which I 

ii Canada and United States 57 

had been sketching a marvellous group of coloured maples 
two mornings running, refused to let me pay toll when return- 
ing in a carriage, as she said I worked too hard for her to 
take anything from me. 

The falls far outstretched my grandest ideas. They are 
enormous, the banks above and below wildly and richly 
wooded, with a great variety of fine trees, tangles of vine 
and Virginian creeper over them, dead stumps, skeleton trees, 
and worn rocks white with lichens ; the whole setting is 
grand, and the bridges are so cobwebby that they seem by con- 
trast to make the falls more massive. From my home I could 
walk along the edge of the cliff over the boiling green waters 
all the way to the falls, and if they had not been there at all 
I would willingly have stayed to paint the old trees and water 
alone. Mr. Rosli gave me wonderful accounts of the falls in 
winter, when great masses of ice came down from Lake Erie, 
got jammed between the rocks and banks, and gradually froze 
the water between them, then more ice slipped under and it 
was lifted up like a bridge ; he said it was a most marvellous 
sight, and he had known carriages driven across on the ice 
under the bridge, but that did not often happen. It is much 
milder at Niagara than in Lower Canada, grapes and peaches 
ripen better ; the old arbor-vita3 trees are splendid, as scraggy 
as any old silver firs, and the oak trees are drawn up into 
grand timber, the trunks rising without a branch for over fifty 
feet. It was difficult to choose out of so many subjects where 
to begin. The Horseshoe Fall tempted me much, standing close 
to its head, with the rapids like a sea behind, and the rain- 
bow dipping into its deep emerald hollow; the tints were 
endless in their gradations, and delicious, but I got wet through 
in the mist. 

Another tempting bit was below my home, looking down 
on the whirlpool, where the savage green boiling water seemed 
piled up in the centre like some glacier; there were fore- 
grounds of great arbor-vitse trees almost hanging in the air 

58 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

like orchids, with long twisted bare roots exposed against the 
edge of the cliff, from which all the earth had been washed. 
The rapids about Goat Island on the American side were also 
full of wonders. One day it blew such a gale that I had to 
sit down and hold on tightly to the bars of the bridge on 
returning; no carriages attempted it that day. There are 
thirty-five minutes difference in the time on the two sides of 
that bridge, and passengers are charged 40 cents for walking 

I talked to a good many of the regular tourist Yankees ; 
they were of a very different sort from my friends near Boston. 
(The Cataract House is a famous honeymoon resort.) "Now 
I guess you'll get a long price for that thing when it's done. 
What are you going to ask *{ " They seemed to have no idea 
of work being done except for dollars. 

The Head Guide of the Falls, who came out from Scotland 
forty-seven years before, patronised me, and told me if I got 
chilled at any time just to go and ask his missus to give me a 
good cup of coffee, it 'ud do her heart good to make it for me. 
He showed me some lovely views at the bottom of a rickety old 
tower about seventy feet high, with a corkscrew staircase wind- 
ing round one noble pole in the centre. The tower is fastened 
half-way down to the side of the cliff by an iron bar ; it shakes 
and trembles with every step of persons going up or down. 
When I had settled to my work on the boulders below, 
between the two huge roaring falls, I began to think what 
would happen if it were to tumble down, and they were to 
forget my being there. But I had plenty of company passing 
and repassing after the first morning hours. Strange figures 
in suits of yellow oilskin came and looked at me at intervals. 
When I had got my sketch in, and myself sufficiently soppy, 
I went farther under the spray of the American fall and saw 
three quarters of a circle of rainbows on it, and watched the 
yellow oilskin people scrambling over the huge boulders in 
and out of the clouds of spray ; they had left the paths and 

ii Canada and United States 59 

bridges, and were tempting death from the mere love of 
danger, but with that steady nerve and strength which 
showed them to be beef-fed islanders, and fit compatriots of 

I was too excited to do more work on that day, so I took 
a carriage, drove over the bridge and up the rapids on the 
Canadian side, watching their lovely lines of dancing surf and 
their white horses. After a couple of miles we came to the 
Sulphur Springs ; they are close to the edge of the mad waters, 
and a building is raised over them. I went into a dark room, 
and the guide set fire to a pipe at the end of a sort of wooden 
extinguisher over the spring ; a flame of nearly two feet high 
blazed up, with a large space of blue vapour between the 
point of the flame and the mouth of the tube, so that one 
could put a piece of muslin over the opening of the pipe 
without burning it. The guide let down his torch into the 
actual spring which I saw bubbling up, and the flame ran 
about over it. The water did not taste very nasty. 

While at Clifton I got a letter from two old Norfolk 
servants of my father, John and Betsy Loades, who had 
settled in Pontiac in Illinois. He was one of our Rougham 
boys, and eventually became our coachman, and could turn 
his hand to anything; he married our cook, and they had 
both helped me to nurse my father, and would have no other 
master when he died, but emigrated with their two girls to 
America. Betsy Loades now wrote, "that after knocking 
about at Chicago and other places, they had settled at Pontiac 
on the Vermilion River, and John had work for the winter on 
a new railway ; they liked the place, and' hoped to buy land 
there in time ; that a man might rent a good farm (as soon as 
he was able to get a team and a few machines to work his 
land with), on which he could make a great deal of money in 
a few years to provide for old age." 

I could not resist the temptation to go and see them 
and something of the prairie country besides, so I left my 

60 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

portmanteau with Mr. and Mrs. Rosli, and went off with 
my small hand-bag and sketch-book to Toronto, to refill my 
purse and see my cousin Dudley's friends, Judge G. and 
his family. 

All the fashionable people at Toronto live out of sight of 
the lake, and its edge is taken up by warehouses and wharfs, 
yet its banks are very lovely and well wooded. All the trees, 
except the cedars and large-leaved oaks, were then bare of 
leaves ; the oaks were a rich copper or purple brown, with 
now and then a sumach shining out like a carnation in front 
of all the neutral tints. The small curling waves on the shore 
remind one of a real sea, but Toronto is not the least attractive 
or picturesque. 

The G.s put me into a Pullman car the next morning, and 
for 75 cents extra I was in solitary glory till 8 o'clock at 
night, with only the occasional society of three guards and the 
black man in charge, who now and then came up to say, 
"Wall, how are you? Quite comf or-table 1 " At Sarnia we 
had to cross a ferry to the other side of the St. Clair river, and 
then get into crowded cars the- very reverse of the solitary 
luxury I had had all day. Such a rough lot, they could not 
have been rougher, but they seemed to know I was a lady, 
and gave me a seat to myself, and no annoyance. 

We were turned out at Detroit, and the guard warned me 
to be quick, for the Great Western Express would barely stop, 
and indeed it was rolling on again before I was fairly inside 
the door. After that I fell into the hands of another black 
keeper of sleeping-cars, who persuaded me to take a whole 
compartment and pay an enormous sum ; but I was tired of 
roughs, and enjoyed having room and peace, with two windows 
to look out at the burning forests on each side. It was a 
curious and fearful sight. Every mile or two we came to 
blazing roots and pillars of fire, often the tops alone blazing 
like giant torches, scattering sparks all around, which made 
passing dangerous. It looked a most ghastly sight all through 

ii Canada and United States 6 1 

that dark night. At last we came to the white sand-hills 
round the great Lake Michigan. 

It was pouring with rain, and we went over endless bogs. 
Damp farmers and their families came in and out all the way. 
We reached Joliet just in time to see the train I wanted to go 
on by leaving the station and going slowly out of sight. There 
was no other passenger train till eight at night, so I decided to 
go by the freight train in two hours, and having had nothing 
but coffee and biscuits for twenty-four hours, I went to a 
baker's and had more coffee and bread for dinner. All those 
country towns seemed very poor, as if they were making a 
struggle to exist at all ; with little houses dotted over a large 
space of ground, and wooden boards laid down between them 
to keep one from sinking in the soft mud. The nice baker's 
wife was rather doubtful about the freight train. If it was 
full they might be a rough lot, she said ; women hardly ever 
went that way. However, I risked it, and was most comfort- 
able, and hospitably treated in the one carriage, the guard's 
van, with three windows and three doors, a great stove in the 
middle, a divan all round, and an arm-chair and two stools, 
quite a cosy little room. There were three guards one from 
some other line who was out for a holiday with his wife and 
sister, two very pretty women. Some played at cards, and 
the others looked on, and it was altogether a picturesque 
scene, but rather slow progress, as we had to stop to let every- 
thing else pass. The guards kept perpetually going in and 
out in most juggler-like ways through windows and doors, 
coming down feet first off the roof. Now and then strange 
men came in for a stage or two, all decent but very damp 
people. The elder guard told me he did not believe it was a 
bit better for a working man there than in England; for 
though they might get better wages, the living was so costly, 
and as soon as he had made enough he should go straight home 
to England. 

At last we reached Pontiac about ten o'clock, and the guard 

62 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

lighted me on to a pavement (boards), and told me to follow 
" that gentleman," he would show me the way to the hotel ; 
so I tramped after him through the mud and rain, and he 
(a mere labourer) showed me the way most kindly, found the 
landlord out of a crowd of people in the shop below, and I 
soon had a capital supper and bed, which, though only a bag 
of straw, was a great luxury. The paper was all in tatters ; 
there was no handle (but three bolts) on my door, but I felt 
quite safe, and slept soundly. The next morning the black 
cook brought me my breakfast at seven on a tray with nine 
saucers on it, containing one egg, one fish, one cutlet, one hot 
roll, one pat of butter, toast, cakes, biscuits, corn-cakes, a cup 
of coffee, a glass of milk, cup of sugar, and saltcellar. I never 
saw so much on one tray before, and felt equal to anything 
after such a sleep and such a meal, and started to find "Big 

First I went to the post-office. The postmaster had never 
heard his name ; he was a new-comer himself ; I had better 
ask next door. Next door was a shoemaker and watchmaker 
combined, and he had his eye fixed in a magnifying glass over 
the anatomy of a damp clock. He was a thorough English- 
man, and remembered both John and his watch, and described 
them, but could not say where he lived. Other gossips dropped 
in who also knew him, but not where he lived, and they 
advised my going to the new railway where he worked. So I 
tramped on again through the rain and the mud outside the 
town to the new station, and the stationmaster told me if I 
walked up the line I " should find him in a fur cap," which I 
did, and John straightway took off that fur cap and dashed it 
on the ground, and said, "Laws, if that beant Miss Mary hand !" 
Then went and told his " boss " he must have a holiday, and 
took me home to see Betsy. Poor fellow, he was the ghost of 
his old self. So thin from constant attacks of dumb-ague, but 
he said he meant and hoped to live it down, and thought he 
should get on in time. The ague only attacked new-comers. 

ii Canada and United States 63 

He had a good boss, and got nearly two dollars a day, His 
wife made the best of everything in the same way. They took 
me for a walk through the fields ; all the land was black but 
rich, and magnificent crops of corn and even grapes grew with- 
out manure. The soil had only to be turned over, without any 
harrowing, or cleaning, or manuring ; the corn was thrown on 
it, and it yielded 80 to 1 00 bushels per acre. Grapes also yielded 
enormous crops the second year after planting. The ground 
was always moist, though they had had no rain for months, 
and no water fit to drink. Fencing was the great expense, as 
there was no wood. They had good coal quite near. Every 
"respectable" man carried a revolver in a pocket made on 
purpose, and John said he would not like the neighbours to 
know he had not a gun in the house. He was full of schemes 
for buying land and growing crops, as well as tobacco, but 
meant to try a year first if he could beat the ague, and if he 
had been a little more of a " scholard" he might easily have 
become a "boss" himself. The men always said he looked 
like one 'cos of his leather gaiters. 

We saw grand fields of Indian corn-stalks on which the 
cattle feed in winter, and weeds as high as the corn iron- weed 
and cockle-berries. The farming was most wasteful ; one field 
was quite white with the shed beans left on the ground. The 
Reformatory School was a grand building with a model farm 
attached, kept up by Government; but the black, swampy, 
spongy ground and John's ague depressed me. Betsy baked 
capital new bread, and roasted a chicken for dinner, and while 
we were out the girls had swept up and made the house look 
smart. The chickens cost little to keep, as they feed on all 
the neighbours' ground ; but the neighbours when they wanted 
one never hesitated to kill yours as well as their own, expect- 
ing you to do the same. They also had a habit of walking 
in when it suited them, and making themselves quite at home, 
in a manner that was not always convenient ; but if you were 
ill they loaded you with kindness, so that you could not resent 

64 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

their cool ways. At the last place they had lived Betsy often 
heard a curious rattling going on when washing in the cellar, 
and one day saw a large rattlesnake come in and disappear in 
a hole in the floor. The neighbours advised her not to anger 
it, as where there was one there were sure to be more, but she 
left off washing in that cellar. One day she saw the cat 
dragging in a long snake to give to her kittens. She chased 
both beasts awa}', and supposed that the cat ate the snake, as 
she returned licking her lips and purring very happily. Betsy 
made her own soap and carpets. 

At four o'clock the next morning I heard everybody 
moving, and saw a great light ; it was a fire in the midst of 
the wooden houses, so I dressed and got myself ready to fly 
if necessary, but it was soon put out. Four houses were 
burned, and nobody doubted it was done on purpose. Many 
of the Chicago scamps were about ; they had been shooting 
chloroform in at the keyholes, and then, -when the victims 
were quieted, and the dangerous fumes dispersed, they got 
into the houses and robbed them. They were now on their 
trial, and the four houses burnt belonged to persons who had 
witnessed against them. Betsy said the burners would be 
hung if they were caught. She came to me at eight, and 
soon after the landlord's son brought his buggy to drive me 
to Chenoa, only a ten miles' drive, to catch the twelve o'clock 
train to Logansport. 

Another long day was passed in skirting the southern 
shore of Lake Erie. I passed more pretty country, full of 
snake-fences and ague, and saw the big lake with waves like a 
real salt sea. I met many nigger "gentlemen" that day in 
the train, in full evening-dress coats, rings on their fingers, 
and gold chains, with their hair oiled and straightened as 
much as possible, and the full extent of possible dandyism. 
They were extraordinarily polite, lending their newspapers, 
and giving up their seats to any lady looking for one, after- 
wards sitting with their feet above their heads, and talking 

n Canada and United States 65 

the grossest slang with some Irish roughs, or the news-boys. 
I took these black gentlemen for ex-Chicago swells, or billiard- 

Toledo seemed a busy manufacturing place, and Cleveland 
was even bigger. They are monstrous places, as black as 
Manchester ; most of the people in the cars were quiet country 
people, but they had an anxious worn look one does not see 
in the same class at home. 

At Buffalo I had to drive in an omnibus to another station, 
and then on again by rail. I was put out on the American 
side of the suspension bridge, and had to walk across in the 
dark starlight over the roaring river, while a train rolled over 
my head at the same time, shaking every iron bar. The 
Canadian toll-taker rubbed his eyes, and said, " I was wonder- 
ing what had become of you ! " and refused with indignation 
to look in my bag for tobacco. Mr. and Mrs. Eosli shook me 
by both hands, and sent me up buttered toast for tea; my 
little room looked quite like home again, and, but for the cold 
icicles hanging round the window, would have tempted me to^ 
stay on. I took a last stroll to say good-bye to all my pet 
views of the mighty waters. 

I started by the night train so as to get to Albany by day- 
light and see the Hudson river afterwards. 

The Hudson seemed to me like a very mild Rhine minus 
the castles. A clever talking woman travelled part of the 
way with me ; she said she had been sent for her education to 
Leipzic among strange languages, dishes, and ways, had had 
no letters for the first month, and felt just like Columbus ! 
She was very good-natured, and on our arrival at New York 
put me into a fly with my luggage. That quarter of an hour's 
drive cost me eight shillings ! New York is not cheap. At 
the Hofmann House they gave me a very good room, looking 
on a deep well, with windows all round it, hot and cold water 
laid on, cupboards and all sorts of nice furniture, and five 
dollars printed on the door, a pound a day for room alone ! 

66 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

My food came in as I ordered it, from a restaurant, and was 
ood and cheap. 

I found a heap of letters to answer, and took a day's rest ; 
then I went to call on Doctor Emily Blackwell, waiting in her 
back room till all the patients had had their turn, when she 
came out and we had a long talk. She was a most jolly 
woman. She showed me her infirmary ; about a dozen women 
and babies were all in one room, very clean and airy. She 
took out a day -old gingerbread baby to show me, such a 
funny little object with huge eyes, and the mother looked 
after it just as I have seen a cat do when its kittens were 
interfered with. Then she took me to see the female students 
being lectured to by a man; elaborate curls seemed the 
fashion among them, rather than the prevailing chignon. 

I went home to luncheon and packed my bag, returned to 
the ferry, and by it to the railway. In another half -hour 
Mr. S. met me : he looked an ideal of benevolence and philan- 
thropy, one of New York's most respected merchants; his 
carriage and ungroomed horses were shabby to the last degree ; 
he drove himself, and I held the old patched reins while he 
did various errands in A., which was one of the oldest settle- 
ments in America, and quite an historical place ; it was 
situated on an arm of the sea which looked like a lake, near 
which was the house of Eagleswood, a comfortable but not 
showy dwelling. That morning the old gentleman with his 
son and a fisherman had saved the lives of three boys from 
drowning, their boat having turned over in a squall. 

Instead of going straight back to New York I got out at 
Newark, and went by horse -car to Orange, where I left my 
bag at the office, and walked off in search of Sydney Clack, 
the young gardener my father had had at Hastings, who also 
emigrated after his death. After a few false starts, I found 
my way through the woods to Mr. M.'s house, prettily placed 
on a long wooded hill with a view of New York and the 
Hudson river fifteen miles off. I found Sydney in his green- 

ii Canada and United States 67 

house, looking well and happy, with two or three men under 
him, and forty dollars a month, his board and lodging ; he 
had several nice greenhouses, and beautiful flowers. He asked 
me if I would go in to see Mrs. M., who had told him to be 
sure to ask me to go in if I came. She was very hospitable, 
and pressed me to stay and come again. Then Sydney came 
back dressed like a young gentleman to see me safe home ; he 
said he was very glad he came out to America, that any one 
with a distinctive profession and the will could do well there, 
and he asked me to write him a character saying what he 
could do. My agent at Hastings had written him one about 
being " honest and industrious," but that was just the thing 
they did not care for in the States. The particular line a 
person excels in was what they cared to know ; idleness and 
dishonesty did not matter half so much. He thought John 
would have done more wisely to have taken a good coach- 
man's place, instead of losing health in those horrid prairies. 

When I got back to the Hofmann House, I found a kind 
invitation from Mr. Church (the first of living landscape 
painters) to come and see him and his wife at their cottage 
at Hudson. They never got my answer, and I missed my 
train, and only reached Hudson in darkness and rain at half- 
past eight. I got into a fly and told the man to drive to Mr. 
Church's. 'All right,' said the man, and put two other 
persons in (a way they have in the States), and on we went. 
Presently he opened the door : ' Where did Mr. Church live 1 ' 
How should I know ? but the other passengers said six miles 
off; so I went to an inn for the night, and then started in a 
buggy, and met Mrs. C. in the road coming to hunt for me, 
and she took me home. She and her husband were quite 
ideal people, so handsome and noble in their ways and 
manners. They had four children. The eldest, Fred, had 
a supernaturally wise look, and told long stories to his 
brothers with the greatest gravity. Sometimes Mr. C. 
made him spin yarns in the same way to us, interrupting him 

68 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

with questions, and trying to put him out and make him 
contradict himself ; but the boy always had a ready answer 
and a reason for everything. They were still living in their 
old cottage-farm ; but the new house on the top of the little 
hill above them was already roofed in and approaching com- 
pletion. Mr. C. had designed it himself after the pattern 
of a Damascus house, with a court in its middle paved with 
marble, having a splashing fountain in its centre. He had 
also had bricks and tiles made of different oriental patterns 
and ornamented the outside with them, but the floors were 
not yet laid down. The view from the arched entrance was 
fine, of the Catskill Mountains (then white with snow) and the 
winding Eiver Hudson. 

The studio was a detached building, with a picture in 
progress of Chimborazo, which seemed to me perfection in 
point of truth and workmanship. He showed me other 
tropical studies which made me more than ever anxious to go 
and see those countries. 

In my own tiny bedroom were three pictures in oils one 
of the Horse-Shoe Falls of Niagara, a study of magnolia 
flowers, and one of some tropical tree covered with parasites. 
They had imported two white asses from Damascus for Mrs. 
C. and the children to ride, and had also a gray South 
American donkey, quite curiosities in the United States, 
where the animal is almost unknown. 

On my return I found a note from Mrs. M. (Sydney's 
mistress) asking me to come and stay with them, and as I 
liked to see as much as I could of life in America, I went back 
to Orange in the pouring rain, and Mr. M met me at the 
station. We had a late dinner in the English style, with 
wine (which one does not often see on the table). Mr. M. 
told me a great deal of Chicago and the city of forty years 
before, its first rapid growth of poor houses on a most unat- 
tractive unhealthy spot, then how they raised first the roads, 
and then the houses (with a few exceptions) with screws to 

ii Canada and United States 69 

the level of the roadways, and finally built the great stone 
houses which replaced the others : how they bored a tunnel 
three miles under the lake, and then had a pipe put at the 
end so as to get pure drinking water also of the wonderful 
way they drained the sluggish river. 

At a quarter past seven we had breakfast, and the boys 
and their father went off for their day's work by rail, and 
after a gossip over the plants in the greenhouse with Sydney, 
Mrs. M. drove me through the park, not long before a 
natural forest, then sold in lots to rich merchants for 
building and farming. A speculator had made seven miles 
of winding road through it. The views were fine ; there were 
wild rocks, glens, ferns, wild azaleas, and dogwood which in 
spring is covered with white flowers (like snow, they said). 
Some of the houses were pretty ; some odd and unpractical 
ones had been designed by the original speculator when under 
the influence of " the spirits," who did not seem to excel in 
architecture, I thought. 

On my way back I found the ferry crowded with smartly 
dressed people thronging to welcome the young Grand Duke 
Alexis of Eussia, and I began to wonder how I should get on, 
when a lady told me to follow her, which I did, and she 
showed me the best omnibus. She was taking two pretty 
children to see the sight. Broadway was covered with flags 
and gay hangings. 

Mrs. Botta was my best friend in New York, and soon 
made me leave the hotel and take up my quarters in her 
house. She was a most charming and cultivated person, had 
written one or two books on education, and brought up more 
than one set of orphan children just for love, having none of 
her own. She lived with her mother, was a lady of inde- 
pendent fortune, and had married an Italian professor. 

She took me to many studios and exhibitions, where I 
saw some good paintings, but a great preponderance of French 
millinery amongst the favourite pictures. The prices of 

7o Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

dresses in the shops were terrific, three hundred or four 
hundred dollars each, and gloves ten shillings a pair. No 
wonder the Americans come to do their shopping in Europe. 

Mr. M. took me one morning over the "Equitable Life 
Insurance Company," a perfect palace of Pompeian frescoes, 
Italian marbles, and inlaid American woods. We went in the 
lift on to the roof, from whence is the best view of the city, 
river, islands, and sea. There was no smoke, but many white 
tassels of steam from the different steam-lifts and other small 
machines. I was struck by the absence of domes and 
ornamental towers in the huge place. The principal hall of 
the great building was like some Byzantine Church for 
gorgeousness, and to my thinking somewhat out of character 
with the clerks who were scribbling in it. We went to 
see the clerks' dining-room and kitchen, and then into the 
"Safe Deposit Vaults," a wonderful museum of locks and 
drawers, bolts and bars, hedged in with granite, iron, and 
telegraphic wires. If the door were moved the eighth of an 
inch it touched a telegraph and warned the police. It could 
only be opened by two of the head people ; one could not do 
it alone. My head got quite in a maze over it all. Three 
men walk round and round all night between the inner and 
outer walls of this terrible treasure store, and look to the 
gratings. There seemed nothing combustible in the building. 
There was something horrible about the whole thing, with 

defiance of evil-doers or accident. New York was alto- 
gether overwhelming in its constant movement, ugliness, and 
method ; but still it had, like all big cities, much to attract 
and interest any one who could think. 

The first night at Mrs. B.'s, after our supper-tea, we all 
walked out about nine o'clock to the horse-cars, and then on 
again and up a side street to Mr. R's, the literary critic of 
the Tribune. It was not a party, but just " a few friends," 
and most agreeable, for the friends were of the best sort : 
they wore only high dresses, and my old square-cut body 

ii Canada and United States 7 1 

felt almost indecent, the others were so decidedly "high." 
I was introduced to plenty of people whose names I did not 
catch, and had a long chat with M. du Chaillu, just home 
from Norway, where he had been as far north as he could 
get an odd contrast to his last wanderings among the 
gorillas ! 

There were many artists there, including one who had 
painted the chief beauties of New York as the Nine Muses. 
I promised to go and see them. He had also, when in Eng- 
land, painted John Bright, Cobden, and Tom Potter. He was 
an Italian, and said Tom Potter was a good man, Bright was 
amusing, but Cobden he "loaved" ! At eleven o'clock plates^ 
of cold salad, sandwiches, and oysters were handed round, 
with a napkin to put on the knees under them, with tiny 
glasses of wine, after that ice-creams and cakes, and then 
coffee and chocolate. The guests seemed to enjoy their picnic 
supper, after which we walked home again most of the way. 

Mr. De Forest came one morning and took me to the 
Johnstone Gallery, a most exquisite collection of pictures. 
The great Niagara and a beautiful sunset scene in a swamp 
by Church were there. The latter is a wonderful picture. 
The four ages of life by Coles, and splendid Mullers and 
Cromes were there too. Every picture was a gem. We went 
one night to the opera to hear Nilsson as Marguerite. She 
was not appreciated, and the audience were most cold. All 
their applause was given to the French tenor Capoul, who 
was the fashion, and all the girls raved about him. The 
Grand Duke Alexis was there, a handsome well-grown middy. 
It was funny to see the audience rise gradually to the Russian 
hymn. We resisted as long as any one ; but got up at last 
to do honour to the son of the Czar. 

We were offered tickets to go in a steamer up the Hudson 
to Westpoint and back with H.I.H., but did not see the fun 
of being frozen on deck, or broiled in a cabin in high 
Russian society, so begged to be excused, and I went on to 

72 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

Washington with a parcel of clam-sandwiches in my bag, 
which Mrs. B. made with her own dear hands, cutting a roll 
in half, buttering it, and putting the odd fishy things between ; 
they come out of bivalve shells something like our scallops. 

I did not stop at Philadelphia, but went straight to Mrs. 
Eussell Gurney * at Washington at 1512 H. Street. The mode 
of distinguishing houses in America is certainly monotonous, 
but has the great merit of being easy to find, and the streets 
generally run at right angles to one another. Mr. G-. had 
given up his comfort at home to come and try to settle 
the Alabama question, and was very weary of the task. 
Month after month passed, and still nothing was settled. 
It was very cold, and I felt sorry for my friends there; 
they were most kind and hospitable to me. The first day 
I went to see Dr. and Mrs. Henry in their pretty museum 
building, built of pink stone with much-ornamented round 
archways, and creeping plants over it, and Miss H. showed me 
many interesting things. There was a large collection of 
birds' nests, and one trunk of a tree with holes made all over 
it by a Californian woodpecker in order to pick out its own 
pet grubs ; then the chipmunk or squirrel puts the acorns in, 
which another bird steals again. We saw also the last of the 
auks, with its one odd egg ; and a horrid little baby mummy 
which was tossed out of the middle of the earth by an earth- 
quake in South America, and was supposed to be one of the 
very oldest of dead human beings. 

We had a party at home of diplomatic people who discussed 
some of the new American ways. The young ladies have 
clubs among themselves, and give parties on alternate nights 
during the winter, every "Miss" bringing a gentleman. 
Mamma only has the privilege of giving the supper, appearing 
while it is being eaten, and retiring afterwards. Papa is 
allowed the privilege of paying for it, and does not appear at 
all. These girls go out to other people's houses under the 
escort of some young gentleman. Pas and mas have a dull 
1 Wife of the High Commissioner and Recorder of London. 

ii Canada and United States 73 

life of it in U.S. society. When a man calls at a house he 
never asks for the mother, only for the girls, and the mother 
does not appear ; if she did she would be snubbed, and made 
to know her place very quickly. 

I had a card brought me the next morning, " the Secretary 
of State " and Mr. Fish followed it, to whom I had a letter of 
introduction. He was a great massive man, with a hard sensible 
head. He said he would call for me in the evening, and take 
me to the White House. So at eight o'clock in he came again 
after another big card, I being all ready for him in bonnet and 
shawl, and in no small trepidation at having to talk tite-h-Ute 
with the Prime Minister in a small brougham. However, I 
found there was no need, as he did it all himself. We were 
shown in first to the awful crimson satin room which Mrs. G. 
had described to me, with a huge picture of the Grant family 
all standing side by side for their portraits. Then we were 
told to come upstairs, and passed from state-rooms to ordinary 
everyday life up a back staircase, which was the only means 
of reaching the upper storey allowed by the architect of 
seventy years ago. We were shown into a comfortable library 
and living-room, where a very old man sat reading the news- 
paper, Mrs. Grant's papa, who did not understand or hear any 
of the remarks Mr. Fish or I made to him. Then came Mrs. 
Grant, a motherly, kind body ; then at last came the President, 
also a most homely kind of man. 

We at first sat rather wide apart, and I had more of the 
talk to do than I enjoyed, and felt like a criminal being 
examined till Mrs. Grant hunted up a German book full of 
dried grasses to show me, and the poor withered sticks and 
straws brought dear Nature back again. I put on my spectacles 
and knelt down at Mrs. Grant's knee to look at them. They 
began to find out I was not a fine-lady worshipper of Worth, 
and we all got chatty and happy. Mrs. Grant confessed she 
had no idea " Governor Fish had brought me with him, or she 
would not have let me upstairs, but didn't mind now " ; and 

74 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

she told me all about her children ; and if I had stayed long 
enough would, I have no doubt, have confided to me her 
difficulties about servants also. The two big men talked 
softly in a corner as if I were not there, and I watched till Mr. 
Fish looked like going away, and then I rose. They were all 
so sorry I could not stay the winter there, and hoped I would 
come again, etc. etc., like ordinary mortals; and Mr. Fish 
showed me a water-colour drawing of the Grants' country 
house, took me into a blue satin room, which he said was very 
handsome, and conducted me home again. 

I wondered if Gladstone or Dizzy would have taken as 
much trouble for the daughter of an American M.P. who 
brought a letter from the Secretary of an English embassy. 

The next morning I found a big envelope with a huge G. on 
it, and a card inside from the President and Mrs. Grant asking 
me to dinner that night. The Gurneys had another, so we 
went in state and were shown into the blue satin oval room, 
well adapted for that sort of ceremony, and the aide-de-camp 
General Porter came and made himself most agreeable to us. 
Then came two Senators and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, 
and then the President and his wife arm in arm, with Miss 
Nelly and a small brother, and grandpapa toddling in after. 
He had an armchair given to him, and General Grant told me 
he was so heavy that he had broken half the chairs in the 
house, and they were very careful about giving him extra 
strong ones now. After a terrible five minutes, dinner was 
announced, and to my horror the President offered me his 
arm and walked me in first (greatness thrust upon me). I 
looked penitently across at Mrs. Gurney, who looked highly 
amused at my confusion, and did not pity me in the least. I 
was relieved by finding the great man did not care to talk 
while he ate, and General Porter was easy to get on with on 
my other side. He seemed to know every place, inhabited 
and uninhabited, in America. 

He gave me some curious accounts of the few remaining 

n Canada and United States 75 

Indians, some of whom are as near animals as mortals can be, 
too lazy to look for food till the strong pangs of hunger seize 
them, when they sit in a circle and beat down the grasshoppers 
with whips, gather them up and crush them in their hands, 
eating them just as they are, and then sleep again till the next 
fit of hunger seizes them. The President drank tea with his 
dinner, and had every dish handed to him first. He seemed 
an honest blunt soldier, with much talent for silence. His 
wife had a funny way, when shaking hands with people, of 
looking over their heads, and appearing to read off their names 
out loud from some invisible label there. I was taken out 
from dinner in the same distinguished manner, being made to 
stop in the red satin room and admire the family portraits 
and the youngest boy in a Grant tartan and kilt. I asked the 
President if he did not mean to go some day and hunt for his 
relations in Scotland, but he said he had quite lost all trace of 
them, four generations of his family having lived in America, 
and that he was "raised" in Ohio; and he sat down by 
me and was quite conversational. I told him about my visit 
to Pontiac. He said it was quite possible to live down ague, 
and that after seven or ten years of cultivation the prairies 
ceased to be unhealthy. How sad it is that the first brave 
men who make the country must be the victims to its climate. 

General Cameron promised if I would come back in spring 
to take me to a place in Pennsylvania, only eight hours off, 
where they still talked pure Elizabethan English, and to another 
where they can talk nothing but Dutch, having kept them- 
selves always apart from their neighbours. Miss Nelly got 
scolded for not playing the piano. She was kept very much 
at home, and not allowed to go with any of the fast girls of 
the day. 

After that party we went to hear Santley sing. The 
Americans did not appreciate our great baritone any more 
than they did Nilsson, and I felt grieved that such a real 
artist should have thrown away his talent on such an audience. 

76 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

The dear old Kecorder slept, as only M.P.'s do, waking up after 
every piece to clap, and looking pleased too. The G-.s were 
quite surprised (as I was) at the fuss the Grants had made 
about me, as they never gave dinners (they themselves had 
only dined there once before, when the High Commissioners 
first went over). I could not think what I had done to deserve 
all this ; but after I left it came out. Mrs. Grant talked of 
me as the daughter of Lord North, the ex-Prime Minister of 
England. I always knew I was old, but was not prepared for 
that amount of antiquity. 

"We drove out to Arlington, the late home of General Lee, 
a tasteless building of would-be classical style in a beautiful 
situation, with distant views of Washington; a one-armed 
ague-stricken soldier was its only inhabitant. 

It blew a perfect gale of wind whilst we were in that 
dismal place, and we were glad to get out of it again. The 
large-leaved oaks were still holding on tightly to their brown- 
papery leaves, and kept up a continual crackle and rustle. 
In and about all the great towns of the States I saw little 
houses built for the accommodation of sparrows ; the birds had 
been imported from England to get rid of a caterpillar which 
had been infesting the trees and eating up everything. The 
sparrows seemed to take kindly to their new homes and diet, 
but it was still a problem how they would endure the winter. 
The Potomac was frozen, and people were skating everywhere. 

We went in the evening to a woman's meeting at which 
there were more men than women ; all the men who would 
not go and hear men preach on Sundays seemed to make up 
for it there. 

Miss H. brought me some beautiful dried specimens of the 
\ creeping fern with leaves like ivy which only grows at some 
place in Connecticut ; it had been so much picked that a law 
was made and a heavy fine imposed on any one taking more 
of it. Writing of law reminds me that there was another 
State in America where divorces were so common that a 

ii Canada and United States 77 

lawyer would do the thing cheaply by the dozen, if you could 
take a sort of season-ticket for a set before you committed the 
folly of matrimony for the first time ; ,one woman was pointed 
out to me who had been divorced eight times. 

One morning we went to the opening of Congress; we 
drove to the Capitol after breakfast, a really handsome white 
marble palace with a large dome over its centre j then 
wandered on up and down, asking our way till we got to the 
gallery reserved for diplomats in the Lower House, and were 
told to take the front seats by Mr. P. the publisher to whom I 
had a letter, and who seemed to be a universal busybody and 
most important personage. The House looked twice as large 
as our House of Commons ; all the names were read over to 
" the Bar of the House " (though there was no Bar). The oaths 
were decidedly calculated to keep truth-telling Southerners 
out, as they swore they had never counselled nor helped in 
any rebellion against the government of the U.S., etc. etc. 
There were two black M.P.'s particularly well dressed (not 
a general fault in the assembly), and there was a very 
ample supply of bald heads, as well as some preposterously 
young-looking men. There was a female reporter among 
the others in gold bracelets and a tremendous hat and 
feathers ; the messengers were all boys, who dashed about 
continually amongst the members below, sitting between 
whiles on the steps of the Tribune. After a while a quorum 
of both Houses was declared, and a message sent to know if 
the President had anything to say to them. The House 
adjourned for half an hour, so we went out, and afterwards 
into the Upper House, where we stayed to hear the President's 
Message read, as it was done at the same time in both Houses. 
The Senate House looked dull after the other, and the 
Message was very long, it took nearly half an hour to read. 
The boy -messengers there were smaller than in the other 
House, some of them did not look more than eight years old ; 
they sat on the steps of the Speaker's platform, and were very 

78 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

ornamental, reminding me of little boys in the foreground of 
old Italian paintings. We saw Sumner there, with a grand 
head ; Butler, too, I saw in the other House. The lower one 
was filled with desks standing in pairs, and as they were 
distributed by lot, people who did not love one another must 
occasionally have been rather closer than they liked. There 
were only seventy altogether in the Senate, and each senator 
had his own desk, armchair, and spittoon. Both Houses 
seemed to have newspapers and periodicals on their desks, 
and could read through dull speeches openly, without having 
to creep up to dark corners of the gallery, as I have seen some 
highly respected M.R's in our own House (with Dickens's last 
number in their hands). Tobacco and cigars were selling in 
the lobbies. The central hall and passages were lofty, and 
full of fine marbles and frescoes. 

On my return to New York, Mrs. Botta took me to some 
private theatricals in a friend's house. She had a real 
dramatic gift, and could make her audience either cry or laugh 
as she pleased. " She was a heaven-born genius," as a young 
German present called her. We had music, and I had to sing 
also ; the amateur ladies had some very lovely voices among 
them, but chose Italian bravura songs far too difficult for 
them. It is odd how few people know the secret that a song 
cannot be too easy to sing well before an audience, and that 
the easier it is the more it generally pleases. 

Boasted oysters are a great supper -dish at American 
evening parties, one oyster being as much as any one could eat 
at a meal. I think no food is better than those huge American 

It was very cold before I left New York, and some snow 
had fallen, which made me very happy to go on board the 
Jamaica steamer on the 15th of December. I had a fearful 
cold in my head, and was nearly frozen to death, but we got 
warmer every day, and I always better as it grew warmer. 
We were soon amongst the mysterious festoons of floating 

ii Canada and United States 79 

gulf-weed. Even the sea-water was warm, and it looked such 
a solid black blue, and the weed as gold or amber on it, with 
the long streaks of floating white foam over all. A pictur- 
esque group of people were on deck when the warmth at last 
brought me up. A dark graceful half-caste woman of some 
sort, with her head on her still darker husband's shoulder, lay 
half asleep, while he was playing an accordion to a group of 
small children, all sitting in an admiring circle round them. 
A dear old American pair of people were going to spend the 
winter in Jamaica, and to return by the Isthmus of Panama 
and California in the spring to their home in Connecticut. 
They wanted me to go with them : he was eighty, she was 
seventy. The winter before they spent in Santa Cruz, but 
fancied seeing a fresh island that year. They had been a 
great deal on the West Coast of Africa, and I wondered what 
for % Had that mild old man ever bought and sold slaves ? 
I looked at his feeble old face and began laughing, it seemed 
so impossible. 




IN the West Indies at last ! Christmas Eve ! 

We passed Watling's Island and Eum Key, and after 
steaming through the crooked island passage we had a most 
exquisite sunset, the gold melting into pure blue so suddenly, 
and yet so softly, that one could hardly say where the begin- 
ning or ending of either colour was. What a contrast in one 
week ! All the blankets were taken out of the cabin, and one 
sheet was almost unendurable, with both door and windows 
open. The next day we were within sight of Cuba, and the 
sunset had all the soft colours of a wood-pigeon's breast. I 
gave up the greater part of my dinner to enjoy it. The 
clouds closed in over it, till at last there was but one opening 
like a golden eye with red eyelashes, all the rest different 
shades of neutral tint, the land under it very green, while the 
sea looked like ink. The approach to Port Eoyal, with its 
long spit of sand and mangrove swamp, and then into the 
calm bay of Kingston beyond, was intensely exciting. Every 
tree was of a new form to me, the grand mountains rising 
gradually up to 7000 or 8000 feet beyond, all creased and 
crumpled with ins and outs, like brown paper which has been 
much used. 

I landed entirely alone and friendless, but at once fell into 
kind helpful hands. A young Cuban engineer appeared from 
the moon or elsewhere, hunted up my luggage, paid my 
carriage and porters (for I had only American money), and 
saw me safe to the inn. The good brown landlady, having no 

CHAP. Ill 


other spare room, gave me up her own. It was not a quiet 
one, having the family on one side, the dining-room on the 
other, and only Venetian shutters between it and the traffic 
outside. Apparently all the dirty clothes of the establishment, 
as well as the stores, were kept in it, without much method 
as to their several arrangements. But the good woman 
meant to do her best for me, and she gave me my first mango 
to eat. Wasn't it good ! I think no fruit is better, if it 
be really good of its kind. In Jamaica the best sort goes 
by the name of "Number II," 1 certain seeds having been 
brought over from India years ago with numbers attached 
and the names lost. 

The next morning the landlady took me at daylight to see 
the opening of the new market. It was Christmas Day, and 
all the negresses went in their gayest ball-dresses ; the trans- 
parent white muslin showing the black shoulders and arms 
most! comically through. They were covered with pink, 
orange, and red satin bows, with artificial flowers, and feathers 
in their hair, a basket balanced above full of cakes or fruit. A 
band was playing, and all Kingston promenaded up and down. 

On our return I found Dr. C., who insisted on carrying 
me off to stay. One day Mrs. C. took me a drive up the 
Newcastle road ; when it came to an end we walked on, and 
I saw a house half hidden amongst the glorious foliage of the 
long-deserted botanical gardens of the first settlers, and on 
inquiry found I could hire it entirely for four pounds a month. 
It had twenty rooms altogether, and offices behind, and had 
been a grand place in its day. So I did hire it, and also furni- 
ture for one bedroom. I put all but the bed and washstand 
in the long outside verandah, which occupied all the front of 
the upper floor, open to the lovely views (with occasional 
Venetian shutters), and pinned up my sketches on the 
opposite wall, keeping a little room at the end to sleep in, and 
another locked up for my storeroom. I gave eighteenpence 

1 Numbers in catalogue of a collection coming from East Indies to the 
Botanical Gardens, Martinique, when Rodney took the ship prisoner. ED. 

82 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

for a huge bunch of bananas, and hung it up instead of a 
chandelier from the roof of the verandah. The man who sold 
it to me could barely lift it ; there were more than ninety 
bananas on it. They began ripening from the top downwards, 
and I ate my way steadily on, till one day the string gave 
way, and they came down with a crash and had to be given 
to the pigs. 

Mrs. C. found me an old black woman, Betsy, to look 
after and " do " for me. She used to sit on the stairs or in 
the doorway and watch me, eating little odds and ends, and 
sleeping between whiles. She prided herself upon being 
" one of the Old Style Servants," which meant, I believe, old 
enough to have begun life as a slave ; consequently she had a 
contempt for all newfangled notions about dress. She wore 
one and a turban, and at night untwisted the latter article 
and put it on rather differently, that was her whole undress- 
ing. A second dress made her sole luggage. There was also 
a man attached to the house, old Stewart, a coal-black mortal 
with a gray head and tattered old soldier's coat, who put his 
hand up to his forehead with a military salute whenever I 
looked at him. I gave these old people six shillings a week 
to take care of me, and felt as safe there as I do at home, 
though there was not a white person living within a mile. I 
had a most delicious bath : a little house full of running water, 
coming up to my shoulders as I stood in it ; it was the greatest 
of luxuries in that climate. 

From my verandah or sitting-room I could see up and down 
the steep valley covered with trees and woods; higher up 
were meadows, and Newcastle 4000 feet above me, my own 
height being under a thousand above the sea. The richest 
foliage closed quite up to the little terrace on which the house 
stood ; bananas, rose-apples J (with their white tassel flowers 
and pretty pink young shoots and leaves), the gigantic bread- 

1 Eugenio jambos, native of East Indies. Fruit the size of a hen's egg, 
rose -seen ted, with the flavour of an apricot 


Jamaica 83 

fruit, trumpet-trees (with great white-lined leaves), star-apples 
(with brown and gold plush lining to their shiny leaves), the 
mahogany-trees (with their pretty terminal cones), mangoes, 
custard apples, and endless others, besides a few dates and 
cocoanuts. A tangle of all sorts of gay things underneath, 
golden-flowered allamandas, bignonias, and ipomoeas over every- 
thing, heliotropes, lemon-verbenas, and geraniums from the 
long -neglected garden running wild like weeds : over all a 
giant cotton- tree quite 200 feet high was within sight, 
standing up like a ghost in its winter nakedness against the 
forest of evergreen trees, only coloured by the quantities of 
orchids, wild pines, and other parasites which had lodged 
themselves in its soft bark and branches. Little negro huts 
nestled among the " bush " everywhere, and zigzag paths led 
in all directions round the house. The mango-trees were just 
then covered with pink and yellow flowers, and the daturas, 
with their long white bells, bordered every stream. I was in 
a state of ecstasy, and hardly knew what to paint first. The 
black people too were very kind, and seemed in character 
with the scenery. They were always friendly, and ready for 
a chat with "missus." The population seemed enormous, 
though all scattered. There was a small valley at the back 
of the house which was a marvel of loveliness, bananas, 
daturas, and great Caladium esculentum bordering the stream, 
with the Ipomata bona nox, passion-flower, and Tacsonia Thun- 
bergii over all the trees, giant fern-fronds as high as myself, 
and quantities of smaller ferns with young pink and copper- 
coloured leaves, as well as the gold and silver varieties. I 
painted all day, going out at daylight and not returning until 
noon, after which I worked at flowers in the house, as we had 
heavy rain most afternoons at that season ; before sunset it 
cleared again, and I used to walk up the hill and explore some 
new path, returning home in the dark. 

I found no difficulty in walking, and could see the plants 
far better than when on a pony. I walked one Sunday down 

84 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

to the chapel two miles below in the valley : such a walk ! 
The road in one place went through a gap in the cliffs just 
wide enough to let it and the rushing stream through to- 
gether. Bridges crossed the stream more than once high 
above, with masses of the greenish bamboo feathering over it. 
There was no other white person in the church, and a black 
parson preached a good sermon, but not his own, and thereby 
showed sense. 

People always ask how I fed there. I used to buy two 
pounds of beef from the soldiers' rations at the guardhouse 
a mile or two down the valley every Saturday. The meat 
was tough at first, but every day we stewed it up with 
fresh vegetables; then the black people brought me eggs 
and vegetables, and a woman went once a week into King- 
ston and brought me out any shopping I wanted. I was 
advised to buy some tins of turtle-soup, and was amused to 
find they were made at Glasgow. They are too indolent to 
make anything in Jamaica. The Seville oranges rotted on 
the ground, and sugar was growing close by, but they made 
no marmalade. 

After about a month of perfect quiet and incessant paint- 
ing at the garden-house, people began to find me out, and the 
K.s rode down and made me promise to come to their 
cottage for a night. Their home was a thousand feet higher 
than mine, with a most lovely view, and tufts of bamboo all 
round it, the first large specimens I ever saw they made me 
feel in another world among their rattling, creaking, croaking, 
cork-drawing noises. Some of the canes must have been 
fifty feet high, thicker than my arm, and full of varied colour. 
There was a pretty garden, crammed with strange new plants. 
The cysak, which they told me was the sago palm, was very 
thriving. They get the sago from the roots of the young 
suckers ; it has a number of scarlet nuts half hidden amongst 
its furry curly young leaves at the top, so wonderfully packed. 
I began a sketch of the bamboos the next morning, and then 


Jamaica 85 

went on a mile along the ridge to stay with Captain and Mrs. 
H. and the old deaf General Commander-in-Chief, in a bare 
tumble-down old house, supported by two weird old cotton- 
trees and a sandbox-tree, built on the very edge of the pre- 
cipitous wall of the valley. 

I was taken to church on horseback the next morning, a 
lovely ride of half a mile to the most breezy spot on the south 
side of the island, on the very top of the hill. I knew every 
one in the church (with a white face), and the collection of 
" sorry nags " outside was very remarkable. We strolled up 
afterwards to Mrs. B.'s (the rector's wife) famous big tree, 
under which all the gossip and scandal of Jamaica were said to 
be manufactured every Sunday afternoon, enough to last 
through the week ; but it was such a healthy spot, and she 
was such a jolly little woman, that I do not believe anything 
really spiteful proceeded from that locality. It was . perched 
on a perfect pinnacle, and could be seen for scores of miles in 
every direction, out at sea as well as on land. The air was 
something worth living for ; to breathe was a true pleasure. 
Captain Lanyon came up with the Governor's orders that I 
was not to go down the hill without coming to stay at Craig- 
ton; but I wanted more clothes and paints, so Captain H. 
promised me a horse at six the next morning to take me and 
bring me back ; but when I got up I found the house like a 
tomb, not a creature stirring. 

I got out of my window, only a yard above the ground, 
and went down to the stable : all asleep too, and the sun 
rising so gloriously ! I could not waste time, so took my 
painting things and walked off to finish my sketch at the K.s. 
They sent me out some tea, and I afterwards walked on down 
the hill, among the ebony-trees and aloes, home. I passed one 
great mass of the granadilla passion-flower, with its lilac 
blossom and huge fruit, which is most delicious, and almost 
more than one person can eat at a time. Jamaica people 
scoop out all the seeds and juice, and stir it up in a large 

86 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

tumbler with ice and sugar, and nothing can be better for late 
breakfast, with the thermometer at 91. The leaves are of a 
simple oval form. I found a Kingston doctor and his family 
had accepted my offer of rooms for a change, and had come 
up, furniture and all, for a week to a corner of my vast 
domain. So after a rummage and a bath I went up the hill 
again, and old Stewart carried my portmanteau on the top of 
his head as far as the little collection of cottages at the foot 
of the Craigton mound. Then he called out to ask " one of 
those ladies if they would carry this woman's trunk up the 
hill," and a lady did it, her woolly head being naturally 
padded for the purpose. Their heads are marvellously strong. 
When I first came there was a difficulty in getting the iron 
frame of my bed together. A carpenter was sent for. He 
first pushed at it and kicked it with his foot, then he thumped 
at it with his fist, and finally made a bull-like rush at it with 
the top of his head, and achieved it. 

There was one of the great cotton-trees close to the path, 
and I went on zigzag, returning continually to the huge 
skeleton tree, and thought I should never get above it. The 
native cottages were generally hedged round with scarlet and 
double salmon-coloured hibiscus. The little children met one 
carrying flowers of it, and did not beg. All the people were 
sociable, with very gentle manners. I reached Craigton just 
after sunset ; and the views over Kingston Harbour, and Port 
Royal stretching out into the sea beyond, were very fine. The 
/ house was a mere cottage, but so home-like in its lovely 
garden, blazing with red dracsenas, Bignonia venusta, and 
poinsettias looking redder in the sunset rays, that I felt at 
home at once. The Governor, Sir John Peter Grant, was a 
great Scotchman, with a most genial simple manner, a hearty 
laugh, and enjoyment of a joke. He was seldom seen till 
dinner-time, except sometimes when he came out for a game 
of croquet about five o'clock with any people who happened to 
collect themselves on the pretty green lawn which was always 


Jamaica 87 

open to all the neighbours. Two sheep were kept tethered on 
it to nibble the grass and make it fine, and they had learned 
to stand on their hind-legs and beg for sugar at tea-time. 
After the anarchy succeeding the rebellion, Sir John was per- 
suaded to leave Bengal and come to put things straight. He 
worked enormously, pulling down old machinery and putting 
up new everywhere. He was never tired, and could work 
day and night without rest or exercise, trusting no one, and 
looking into the minutest details himself. His right-hand and 
secretary, Captain Lanyon, had no sinecure, and helped him 
gallantly, besides doing all the honours of the house ; for the 
Governor hated " company," and never gave himself the least 
trouble to be civil to people unless he liked them. He told 
me to come and go just as it suited me, and to consider the 
house my home. He never took any more notice of me, and 
I did as I was told, and felt he had treated me in the way I 
liked best. He is always my ideal of a "Governor." 

I begged to be let off formal breakfasts, went out after my 
cup of tea at sunrise as I did at home, and worked till noon. 
My first study was of a slender tree-fern with leaves like lace- 
work, rising out of a bank of creeping bracken which carpeted 
the ground and ran up all the banks and trees, with a marvel- 
lous apple-green hue. The native children used to take plunges 
into it as English children do with haycocks, and it was so 
elastic that it rose up after them as if nothing had happened. 
In the afternoon I could paint in the garden, and had the 
benefit of the tea and gossip which went on near me, sitting/ 
under a huge mango, the parson, his wife, and people coming 
up on business from the plains with three or four neighbours 
and idle officers from Newcastle. A brother of the Bishop of 
Oxford with his pretty daughter stayed a while also at Craig- 
ton. Orchids were tied to the trees, and all sorts of lovely 
bushes were on the terraces, the Amherstia noUlis, " Mahoe 
Yacca" tree, etc. etc., all wonders to be painted. In the 
evening Sir John always came into the drawing-room with the 

88 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

ladies (like all those who really do work in the tropics, he 
drank next to no wine). He used to curl himself up on the 
sofa amid a pile of books, kick off his shoes, and forget the 
existence of every one else, or he played a game of chess if he 
found a partner worth fighting. When he discovered I could 
sing he said he would have that other trunk up the hill, even if 
it took six men to carry it, so that they might find more songs 
to keep my voice going ; and it was a comfort to think I could 
give him some pleasure in return for all his kindness. 

The view from the dining-room was like att opal : the sea- 
line generally lost in a blue haze, the promontories of St. 
Augusta, and Port Royal with its long coral reef, stretching 
out into it all salmon-coloured, then the blue sea again, Kings- 
ton amid its gardens, and the great Vega all rich green, with 
one corner of purest ^emerald-green sugar-cane, the whole set 
between rich hillsides, with bananas and mangoes full of 
flowers, and the beautiful gold-brown star-apple * tree taking 
the place in the landscape which the copper-beech does in 
England. The mahoe is the hardest and blackest wood in the 
island, and its velvety leaves and trumpet-flowers of copper 
and brass tints made a fine study : all the flowers seemed so 
big. The poinsettias were often a foot across, one passion- 
flower covered two large trees, the dracaenas were ten feet 
high, the gardenias loaded with sweet flowers. One day the 
captain started Agnes Wilberf orce and myself on two horses 
with a groom for Newcastle, where he had arranged that Dr. 
S. should meet us and show us the famous Fern Walk. It 
was a glorious day. We rode up the steep hills straight into 
the clouds, and found rain in the great village of barracks, but 
we went on in spite of it. The scarlet geraniums and zinnias 
of former soldiers' gardens had seeded themselves all about, and 
above them we came to patches of wild alpinia, called by the 
English ginger and cardamom, with lovely waxy flowers smelling 

1 Chrysophyllum Cainito. Fruit the size of a large apple ; tlie inside 
divided in two cells, each containing a black seed surrounded by gelatinous 


Jamaica 89 

like their names. Great branches of Oncidium orchids were 
pushing their way through the bushes, and creepers in abund- 
ance, huge white cherokee roses, and quantities of begonias. 

At last we turned into the forest at the top of the hill, and 
rode through the Fern Walk ; it almost took away my breath 
with its lovely fairy-like beauty ; the very mist which always 
seemed to hang among the trees and plants there made it the 
more lovely and mysterious. There were quantities of tree- 
ferns, and every other sort of fern, all growing piled on one 
another; trees with branches and stems quite covered with them, 
and with wild bromeliads and orchids, many of the bromeliads 
with rosy centres and flowers coming out of them. A close 
waxy pink ivy was running up everything as well as the 
\ creeping fern, and many lycopodiums, mosses, and lichens. 
\It was like a scene in a pantomime, too good to be real, the 
Vee-fern fronds crossing and recrossing each other like net- 
work. One saw dozens at one view, their slender stems 
draped and hidden by other ferns and creeping things. There 
were tall trees above, which seemed to have long fern-like 
leaves also hanging from them, when really it was only a large 
creeping fern which had found its way over them up to the 
very tops. They were most delicious to look at, and, my 
horse thought, to eat also, for he risked my life on a narrow 
ledge by turning his head to crop the leaves from the bank, 
when his hind -legs slipped over the precipice. I said 
" Don't," and the Doctor and Agnes laughed, while the good 
horse picked his legs up again and went on munching in a 
more sensible position. We rode back by a lower fern walk, 
still lovelier because it was even damper. 

Near Newcastle we found blackberries, furze, straw- 
berries, and bracken on the drier hill-tops. Those were the 
only plants there the English soldier really loved, because 
they reminded him of home. We found it still raining there 
(we had been above it at the Fern Walk), so the doctor de- 
posited us in two armchairs in his sitting-room, and went off 

go Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

to see a patient ; we both fell asleep till he returned, and then 
went to see the view from Major W.'s arbour, and some 
Jamaica plants in his garden. 

Two hours were enough of Newcastle talk. I rubbed my 
brains till they were sore to find recollections of Corfu, 
Quebec, or Gibraltar (which latter place I had only seen from 
the terrace at Ronda); but those places seemed the only 
ones which interested the " military." It was refreshing to get 
home again, and to hear the Governor's honest laugh when 
we told him how overworked and bored they all were on that 
hill above : he himself never knew what an idle hour meant. 

One day the captain called me to the front door to see a 
black " lady," who had walked two or three days' journey over 
the hills with some appeal to the Governor. It was a funny 
scene : the petitioner talked of herself as " a lady who was 
used to the best society." (She had a long starched cotton 
dress trailing half a yard in the dust.) The captain suggested 
she should get some refreshment, which resulted in her being 
given a yam to gnaw sitting on the doortsep. I only left 
Craigton the day the Governor went down, and walked 
down at daylight in my usual way before any one was 
moving in the house but the old woman who brought my tea. 
I found old Betsy waiting for me alone, and was soon hard at 
my usual work again, painting the lovely Alpinia nutans or 
shell-flower, one of the most beautiful of tropical flowers. 

Gertrude S., the Attorney - General's sister, soon rode 
down to see me; she lived only half a mile from Craigton, 
and was the person I liked best in Jamaica. As a young girl 
she had been taken out with her brothers and mother by a 
stepfather to Australia, where she had had no so-called 
"education," but had ridden wild horses and driven in the 
cattle with her brothers; had helped her mother to cook, 
wash, make the clothes, and salt down the meat; and 
till seventeen she could barely read ; then her mother's 
health broke down, and she accompanied her back to England, 


Jamaica 9 1 

nursed her through a long illness, and educated herself. Her 
eldest brother soon took great honours at the Bar, and was 
sent for by the Governor to help him in starting the new 
Constitution of Jamaica. I never knew a more charming 
brother and sister! so entirely happy together, and helpful 
to one another. Gertrude had taught herself German, French, 
and Italian in those few years, and still read much, though 
she did all the finer kinds of cooking with her own hands, and 
saw her horse and cow fed regularly. She rode like Di 
Vernon, and shocked the conventionalities of the country by 
taking no groom with her. No one more thoroughly understood 
the management of a horse. She had a noble face and figure, 
with beautiful expressive dark eyes, and was a most perfect 
gentlewoman in spite of her rough training; another of the 
many examples I have known that a really distinguished 
woman needs no colleges or "higher education" lectures. 
Her brother was witty and bright, and when he went into the 
Governor's room at Craigton we were sure to hear the great 
laugh come rolling out over and over again. Three years 
later these dear people both died in the same hour, of yellow 
fever, and a letter to me was the last Gertrude wrote, telling 
how she and her brother had been nursing the master of the 
new college, who had come up for his Christmas holiday 
to them bringing yellow fever : he was better, and was on 
his way home, and I must come back with him and pay them 
a visit. The next day I read a telegram in the papers : 
"Attorney -General of Jamaica dead of yellow fever, sister 
dead also." It was too terrible ! This is a long story, but 1 
could not think of my friend without her curious history : 
her life was short, but I think a happy one, for she was 
always busy, and used to sing over her work, making all near 
her happy too. We took to one another at once with our 
whole hearts, and I well remember that afternoon when she 
rode down the hill to see me, and I walked nearly home with her 
afterwards, her horse following like a dog without any leading. 

92 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

Some of the wild fruits were very good, though the English 
seldom eat them. The " soursop," or custard-apple, 1 was an espe- 
cial favourite of mine ; it was a green horny heart-shaped thing 
growing close to the stem of the tree, with a creamy pulp and 
black seeds, and an acid pineapple flavour. The avocado pear 
too was good as a salad ; it looked like a pear, only sometimes 
it was purple as well as green, and had a large seed inside 
but the white part had the consistency of a very ripe pear 
without the slightest taste. I used to wander up the hill- 
paths behind the house in the evening and make friends with 
the logwood-tree, just then covered with yellow flowers : the 
anotha with pink or pearl -coloured buds and wonderfully 
packed crimson seeds in husks like sweet chestnuts wide open. 
One could hold these prickly shells upside down and shake 
them and the seeds never shook out, the prickles being 
curved over their surface, so that they were secured as with 
a network. I passed one evening through a cleft in the rocks 
so narrow I could touch them with either hand ; they were 
covered with a scarlet lichen, pretty green and purple orchids 
growing among the moss. The allspice -trees were showing 
their white flower-buds, and the leaves were very sweet when 
crushed. I met a hideous old black woman, who told me 
she was Stewart's wife, a fact I knew before. I asked her 
if I could get a view of the sea higher up? "Oh dear 
no, no see sea, that very long way, very bad road." Five 
minutes more took me to the top, with a glorious view of 
the sea: why did she tell such lies'? A nice lad up there 
gave me some peas to eat which he picked off a most 
unlikely -looking tree, and showed me the Cassava mandioca 
plant. Then I walked through a field of lovely waving 
green sugar-cane from which they make the coarsest sugar, 
nearly black, sending it to England to be refined and made 
into white. Nature has done everything, man nothing, for 
that beautiful island. 

1 Anona muricata. 


Jamaica 93 

There was a long ant-tunnel up and down my house and 
along the fence, but I found no outlet at either end : I broke 
it in several places and caused a great commotion among the 
ants ; the next day it was mended. Near the house was an 
assembly I disliked much more than the ants, they called 
themselves revivalists, and used to howl and talk unknown 
tongues and foam at the mouth for hours together ; sometimes 
it lasted all night, and Betsy and old Stewart used to go off 
together to see them, leaving me alone in my big house with 
the silvery banana leaves flapping against the shutters, the 
fireflies darting, and the glow-worms crawling all round, the 
crickets and frogs also having a revival and rivalling the 
bipeds in the noise they made, with probably more sense and 
meaning too in what they said to one another. I used to 
sit on the verandah writing, reading, and enjoying all these 
things, and never for an instant had the slightest fear ; but I 
did not like the revival people any more than I do the so- 
called spiritualists of fashionable life, for they are both untrue 
and getting money on false pretences. Once I passed the 
camp as a man was preaching : he said, " A stranger is among 
us, if she will join us, we will bless her," but she didn't, and 
wondered if he cursed her ? When I told the Governor about 
these things, he said he had no more right to prevent their 
amusing themselves in that way than he had to stop the white 
people from giving balls and keeping polkas and waltzes going 
till the small hours of the morning, preventing all near 
neighbours from sleeping ; and that seemed just. 

The principal palms on the hills were the cabbage, the 
young shoot of which is eaten boiled, for which the poor tree is 
killed; the "maccafoot" and the "groo-groo," whose great 
seeds take a high polish, and look like onyx stones in a 
bracelet: the mahogany-cones open in four leaves, and the 
seeds inside are packed like French bonbons in lace-paper. I 
was always finding fresh wonders* The sea-cucumber, a gourd 
which grew near the shore, had the most wonderful mat or 

94 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

skeleton sponge rolled up inside, which the natives used as a 
scrubbing-brush. The delicious star-apple got ripe, and was 
filled with blancmange flavoured with black currants. 

My old American fellow-passengers came up one day, and 
I gave them a feast of fruits and made them very happy on 
my verandah. Then I went down to the plain half-way 
towards Kingston, to stay three days with the banker Mr. M. 
and his wife. Mrs. M. had a curious collection of odd pearls 
in an old patch-box. The pink pearl was only found in the 
great conch shell ; only one in a shell, and none in most. It 
seemed a great sacrifice to break up such a noble shell for the 
chance of finding one little dot of a pearl. She had also a 
most beautiful gold-coloured pearl, and was in despair of ever 
matching it so as to make ear-rings. Formerly there were 
pearl fisheries near Port Royal, which was the original capital 
of the island but being built on a coral reef it was undermined 
by the sea, and one day it all tumbled in and was drowned ; 
and now in very clear calm weather they say you can still see 
the city under the water. 

One Sunday morning I walked up to Craigton, and on to 
Judge Ker's. I got up my 1800 feet before eight o'clock, and 
found his worship in an extra scarecrowish costume gardening. 
He was a very odd man, but was one of the people I liked, 
so original and honest, it was difficult to listen to his talk 
without laughing. His wife was a sister of the Poet Laureate, 
but could not live in Jamaica. He said that at last he had 
discovered what to do with cheese-parings : he threw them on 
the floor, and then the rats came in to eat them, the cat came 
in to eat the rats, and so there was no waste. 

He lent me his good gray horse, and I rode up to the 
church, and asked Mr. B. to get me leave to go and stay at 
Clifton Lodge, which he did. The house belonged to a 
gentleman who had lost his wife there, and never cared to see 
it again ; he did not let it, but lent it for a week at a time to 
different people, who wanted a dose of cool air, 5000 feet 


Jamaica 95 

above the sea, beyond the lovely fern walk and in the midst 
of the finest and oldest coffee-plantations in Jamaica. It was 
a charming little well - furnished house, surrounded by a 
garden full of large white arums, geraniums, roses, fuchsia 
fulgens in great bunches, sweet violets, hibiscus, great pink 
and blue lilies, orange - flowers, sweet verbena, gardenias, 
heliotrope, and every sweet thing one could wish for. 
Opposite was the real Blue Mountain, with clouds rolling up 
across it as they do in Switzerland. There was a village just 
below, with a great coffee-growing establishment, and bushes 
of it for miles on the hillside in front all pollards, about four 
feet high, full of flowers and different coloured berries. It 
seemed an ill-regulated shrub ; its berries had not all the same 
idea about the time for becoming ripe, and the natives had to 
humour them and pick continually. It was a wonderful little 
house : I found plate, linen, knives, a clock (going), telescope, 
piano (best not to try it I thought), and a nice tidy woman 
and family in the yard to get all I wanted. I had brought 
old Betsy, and she did holiday and " lady out visiting," as 
all maids do when away from their usual homes. She said it 
was very cold, and shivered, but I did not find it so, though 
blankets and counterpanes on the beds looked as if it might 
be sometimes. 

A great blue-bottle fly buzzed, and a bird whistled two 
notes, scientifically describable as the diminished seventh of 
the key of F, an E natural and B flat alternately, always 
the same and in perfect tune. A lovely little apple-green 
bird with a red spot on his breast also came into the garden, 
called the Jamaica Eobin, which burrows a tunnel in the bank 
like a kingfisher ; but after going in straight for eight inches 
it makes a sudden bend at an acute angle, and thus hides the 
actual nest from strangers outside. The Banana-bird, as 
yellow as the canary but bigger, and the Doctor humming- 
bird, with green breast and two long tail-feathers, used to 
dart about the garden in company with his wife, who was, like 

96 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

him, minus the tail, and the mocking-bird sang sweetly in 
the woods behind, having a vast variety of notes and trills. 
What nonsense people have written about the silence of the 
tropics ; they only go out at noonday, when the birds have the 
sense to take their siestas. If they went out early, as I did, 
they would hear every sort of noise and sweet sound ; then 
after sunset the crickets and frogs strike up, and a Babel of 
other strange talk begins. 

I did one great study in the Fern Walk, sitting in my 
mackintosh cloak, and bringing it back soaking outside every 
day. Then one afternoon a dragoon arrived on horseback 
with a letter asking me for a week to Spanish Town Govern- 
ment House to meet the S.s only. The balls and heavy parties 
being over I could not resist, though sorry to leave the nice 
place I was in. 

When I got home, I found no donkey had been sent for 
my luggage, and old Stewart had gone up the hills with the 
house-key in his pocket, so I got in at a window in a very 
bad humour, and then had to walk down a mile or more to 
tell Boltons the stableman to send up at once for the baggage 
and give me a carriage to Spanish Town. After which I 
crawled up the hill and in at the window again, and cooked 
some eggs a black neighbour gave me in a shallow pan 
without a cover, and made some tea, bathed, dressed, and 
packed before old Betsy and the things arrived, when I again 
started with my portmanteau on the head of penitent Stewart 
back to Boltons. I found all the Newcastle officers on 
their way down the valley to a dance on board one of the 
men - of - war ; carriages were scarce, so I went round by 
Kingston, and shared one that far with them. We went at a 
great pace down the steep road and across the plain, with its tall 
candelabra-cactus hedges, varied by those of JBromelia Pinguin, 
a kind of bromeliad, with the centre leaves bright scarlet, 
from which lovely pink flowers wrapped in white kid bracts 
peeped out, but so hidden by the great rosettes of outer leaves 


Jamaica 9 7 

that they are only visible when one is raised on a high horse 
or carriage above the hedge. 

I reached Spanish Town in the dark, barely in time for 
dinner, and enjoyed all the more looking out at my window 
the next morning on the lovely convent-like garden below, 
full of the richest trees and plants. A tall spathodea-tree was 
just opposite, covered with enormous flower-heads, pyramids 
of brown leather buds piled up and encircled by a gorgeous 
crown of scarlet flowers edged with pure gold. They came 
out freshly every morning and fell off at night, making a dark 
crimson carpet round the tree. A great waxy portlandia was 
trained just underneath it, and cordias with heads as big as 
cauliflowers (Robinias, and Petrcea scandens with wonderful 
masses of lilac-blue bracts). Larkspurs, with blue and white 
flowers and leaves like sandpaper, were in their fullest beauty. 
I never saw so many treasures in so small a space. Arches 
surrounded it leading to the different rooms of the ground- 
floor, where the Governor and his A.D.O. had their office 
open to the fresh air of the gardens on either side. When 
the day's work was over, Gertrude and I used to go and 
sit there too : I still painting in a corner, she and her brother 
and friends swinging in hammocks and talking nonsense, till 
the great heat was over, and we could go for a ride or drive. 
The first morning she took me for a lovely walk down to 
the beautiful sandy river-bed, with the bamboos and big tree 
branches dipping into the waters, long-legged birds of the 
heron or stork kind walking in and out, fishing and pluming 
themselves with their long bills, and making their morning 
toilettes. There were many curious and grotesque old tree- 
trunks down there, with snake-like roots stretching over the 
ground, and arched buttresses, from which the floods had 
washed away the sand and earth at different times. Graceful 
little black children were running in and out of the water, 
bathing and splashing one another. Fish, too, were jumping 
out of the clear water, which ran rapidly over the golden 


98 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

sand. I went there very often afterwards to sketch, with the 
old bloodhound to take care of me ; he used to gallop on in 
front till he found some solid yards of shade, where he would 
sit waiting till I came up, and then run on to another good 

I was told it was nonsense keeping the garden-house any 
longer, as I had so many other houses, so I resolved to go over 
and give it up. 

I went by rail to Kingston over a rich plain of grass-land, 
dotted like an English park with magnificent trees, mostly 
of the flat-topped rosewood and allied species, passing also 
some giant cotton-trees, which adapt themselves to the flat 
land by growing in width rather than height : their buttresses 
were huge. Mrs. C. gave me breakfast, and arranged all my 
affairs for me. She was the universal referee for everybody, 
and quite untiring in her kindness. I got a carriage and drove 
up to the garden-house, paid off my two old retainers, and 
packed up my things. When the coachman refused to bring 
them in his carriage, I told him to go home alone and sent 
him off, cheered by all the villagers, who hated townspeople, 
and carried my things down to Boltons', who gave me horses 
which flew like the wind, and took me all the way back to 
Spanish Town. 

One afternoon we saw the honey taken from some hives 
in the garden in a most primitive manner. Three blacks put 
nets over their heads and cigars in their mouths, sat on 
their heels and hammered at the two dial boxes which repre- 
sented hives, till the bees all mounted into the upper box, 
leaving the honey in the lower one. The spoil was almost 
as good as English honey, but the bees were poor languid 
things, like all other imported creatures, and too spiritless 
even to sting. 

Another day I mounted the Governor's famous old horse 
Blunderbuss, and rode out through pretty green lanes to a 
crack in the hills full of Broom Palm, growing like tree- 


Jamaica 99 

ferns, with fan-shaped leaves on the top of a stem six or eight 
feet high : the plant delights in dry ungenial places. We turned 
in at a gate and climbed higher and higher through various 
fruit-trees, including the sapadilla or naseberry, whose fruit is 
about the size of an apple and tastes like a medlar. 

King's House was a most inconvenient building, internal 
comfort sacrificed to its classical outside, and to a huge ball- 
room which took up one wing of two storeys in height. The 
piano was there, and when the house was full we used to sit 
there as the coolest place. The Governor had a habit of wait- 
ing till the second bell rang, and then saying : " God bless 
my soul ! I must go and dress." We used to get all sorts of 
strange and excellent dishes ; everything seemed new. Fresh 
ginger-pudding, tomato toast, fried "ackee" 1 mango -stew, 
stewed guavas, cocoanut cream and puddings, and many other 
things not heard of in Europe, as well as roast turtle and 
other strange fish, the former rather unattractive food. 

I had one delightful day in the Bog Walk with the 
M.S. There is a village half-way up the lovely valley nest- 
ling among large bread-fruit trees and cocoanuts, and huge 
calabash trees with fruit so large that nets were put over 
them to support them. I saw the great aristolochia trailing 
over the trees, as evil-smelling as its neighbour the portlandia 
was sweet. Tangles of ferns and orchids on every rock, with 
the clear river rushing among them, sometimes bounding 
between huge rocks, sometimes winding along serenely 
between great plumes of feathery bamboo. It was a glorious 
four miles of scenery, but too far from Spanish Town to work 
in comfortably. The trumpet-trees were lovely there, with 
their hollow trunks, branches at right angles, and great 
bunches of white-lined horse-chestnut leaves and pink shoots ; 
it is one of the most remarkable of all tropical plants. On 
the road back we saw a splendid specimen of the " Scotchman 
hugging the Creole" a fig-tree which begins as a parasite 
1 Probably the well-known Egyptian and Indian "okery." 

ioo Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

and gradually envelops the original tree and strangles it to 
death. The air was sweet with the yellow-flowered logwood, 
another tree was full of clusters of bean-pods, with small red 
husks and black berries set in white, which they call " bread 
and cheese." 

Two days afterwards I packed myself and my trunk into 
a two-seated box on wheels, with a flat waterproof top, and 
curtains tied up with bits of string. It had two horses at- 
tached to it ; one pulled it and one ran beside the one who 
pulled. The former fell down and broke its knees at the first 
hill, which taught me a useful moral : never work too hard 
nor try to do more than your neighbours, or you may break 
your knees, which is unbecoming even in a horse ! My driver 
was coal-black, and dressed much like an ordinary English 
scarecrow, but he was a good fellow. We passed over some 
pretty coast scenery, reminding me of parts of the Cornice ; 
the sea quite as full of colour. Sometimes we were high 
above it, sometimes on the very sand at the edge, fording 
several rivers, one of which just made its way in over the floor 
of the carriage so as to cool my feet and damp my portman- 
teau-cover. The rivers are always bordered by palms, bread- 
fruit, and other fine trees. Cocoanuts are very difficult to 
draw, being so exceedingly high that unless one gets too far 
away to see the detail one cannot get both ends in ; but they 
are the noblest of all, and after seeing them one fancies all 
other palms untidy and in want of combing. 

We passed several sugar-plantations, with factories for 
crushing the canes, and groups of coolies about them : they 
were great contrasts to the negroes, being so graceful, frank, 
and intelligent-looking. 

Morant Bay was too tempting to pass, especially as it had 
a good inn kept by Miss Burton, a large black lady with most 
amiable manners. The house was raised above the village ; 
she gave me a nice corner room with a large tub in it very 
acceptable after coming from the mosquitoes of Kingston and 


Jamaica 101 

I began a sketch at once of a great cotton-tree half growing 
in the river, with the blue sea beyond, shaded by palms and 

After leaving the sea the atmosphere got more and more 
like a hot fern-house, till we reached Bath, where the inn was 
kept by a decent kind of white woman. It was really hot and 
without air ; so I worked at home in slight clothing till four 
o'clock, and then walked up two miles of marvellous wood 
scenery to the baths, which were slightly sulphurous and very 
hot and delicious. Two large nutmegs, male and female, grew 
close to them, with the beautiful outer fruit just opening and 
showing the nut and the crimson network of mace round it. 
The flowers are like those of the arbutus. Lower down bam- 
boos were growing in great magnificence, their great curves 
of cane arching overhead and interlacing like some wonderful 
Gothic crypt. Large marrow-fat palms were there too, with 
their whole trunks and heads covered with hanging ferns, and 
tangled up with creepers. The cabbage-palm was in abund- 
ance, with its leaves very much uncombed, and a yard or more 
of fleshy green shoots, the flowers and fruit under them, many 
of the former being then still folded tight in the green bract 
which sticks out at right angles from the stem : to cut open 
one of these palm flower-sheaths and shake out the contents 
like a tassel of the finest ivory-work was a great pleasure and 
never-ending wonder to me. - 

The town of Bath consists of one long street of detached 
houses, having an avenue down it of alternate cabbage-palms 
and Otaheite apples. The old botanical garden had long 
since been left to the care of nature; but to my mind no 
gardener could have treated it better, for everything grew as 
it liked, and the ugly formal paths were almost undiscoverable. 
The most gorgeous trees were tangled up with splendid climb- 
ing plants, all seeding and flowering luxuriantly ; the yellow 
fruit of the gamboge strewed the ground under them, and the 
screw-pine rested on its stilted roots, over which hoya plants 

IO2 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

were twining, covered with their sweet star-flowers. I 
longed for some one to tell me the names of many other 
plants which I have since learned to know in their native 
lands ; but it was delightful to have time to study them and 
not feel hurried. 

I asked why I saw no snakes, and was told they had all gone 
up into the trees to drink out of the wild bromeliads ! Those 
pretty parasites often held quite a pint of water in the cornu- 
copias which form their centres, as I found to my cost one day 
when bending one down to look at its flower, and it emptied 
its contents up my sleeve. I drove into the more open country 
in the dusk, and saw a large acacia-leaved tree full of deep 
pink flowers and shaking leaves, and was told " Thorley's food 
for cattle " was made from it ; the natives called it the guanga- 
tree. I saw the two marenga-trees, from the berries of which 
the oil of Ben used by watchmakers is pressed ; they are both 
very sweet, especially the one with a lilac flower which they 
call Jamaica lilac. The chocolate plant is also much culti- 
vated at Bath : it has large leaves which rustle like paper 
when touched; the younger ones are of all sorts of tender 
tints, from pink to yellow; its tiny flowers and huge pods 
hang directly from the trunk and branches under the leaves, 
and the pods are coloured, according to their degree of ripe- 
ness, from green to purple, red, or orange. The flowers, small 
bunches of gray stars about the size of a fourpenny piece, 
are scarcely visible close to the bark of the tree. The nuts 
are buried in a rather acid white pulp in rows inside 
the pod. 

A mill had lately been established near Bath for the 
purpose of crushing the graceful bamboos and making a coarse 
kind of paper from them ; this will soon rob the place of its 
principal beauty, but no one cares, as few strangers ever make 
their way to Bath. 

The road eastward was very lovely, making short cuts from 
one beautiful bay to another, passing many little landlocked 


Jamaica 103 

harbours of the very deepest blue, with cocoanuts fringing the 
very edge of the sea, and grotesque rocks hollowed out by 
the waves underneath, hung with leaves of maidenhair a foot 
long. We passed through rivers deep enough to oblige me to 
put my feet as well as my trunk on the seat (the floor of the 
buggy had holes drilled in it on purpose to let the water 
through). We rested during the mid-day heat at Manchineal, 
where I sat in the doorway to draw a palm, and the fattest 
hostess I ever saw sat beside me, cutting up guavas into a pot 
to make jelly of, while her little boy of four cracked Palma- 
Christi berries with his teeth preparatory to making castor- 
oil. The mother gave me some pretty shells as a keepsake, 
and white Frangipani flowers to smell (Plumeria speciosa). 
We passed long lines of its trees loaded with the sweet waxy 
flowers ; they open before the leaves appear, and a caterpillar 
comes with them and eats them all off at once. We saw 
quantities of the creature gorging afterwards, about three 
inches long, black, with a red patch on his head. 

We did not reach Port Antonio till after sunset, so many 
attractive things had tempted me to linger and sketch. The 
hotel was full, but they gave me a room out, in the house of a 
very beautiful brown lady. During the night the rats came and 
ate holes in my boots, which were very precious and not easily 
replaced, so I always put them on the top of the water-jug 
during the rest of my stay on the island. Port Antonio looked 
quite an important place from the hills above, where some 
friends of my hostess kindly allowed me to sit and paint it in 
its cocoanut setting. They gave us glasses of " matrimony," 
a delicious compound made of star-apple sugar and the juice 
of Seville oranges, like strawberry cream. It was very lovely, 
but airless ; on the north side of Jamaica there were none 
of the refreshing sea breezes which made the Kingston side 

My next resting-place was at Mr. E.'s, where I stayed a 
week. His home was perched on a rock like a fortress ; one 

IO4 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

could see miles of cocoanuts on one side and of sugar on the 
other. The mountains came down close behind it, over which 
twenty miles of rough riding road could take one to New- 
castle, and a very beautiful road it must have been. Thirty 
cocoanuts were used for drinking every day in that house. 
When one asked for water one heard a chopping, and a glass 
of cocoanut water was brought as a matter of course ; but it 
used to hurt my economical feelings to see the way all the 
precious fibre and husk were wasted. Mr. E. had a large sugar 
farm, and enough to do he was out from sunrise to sunset. 
At certain hours he waited below in his office to receive com- 
plaints, and made a rule he would not be bothered at home ; 
so one evening when a lot of negroes came wanting to " peaky 
Massa," he told them to be off, and when they would not go 
he called the dogs (who were fast chained), and the way they 
all ran down the hill was an odd sight. Those bloodhounds 
have a hereditary dislike to a black, and though they no longer 
have slaves to hunt, are very useful as guardians to white 
houses, as no blacks will come near them if they know the 
dogs are loose. 

The sugar-canes grew here magnificently, planted sufficiently 
wide apart to allow a plough to be worked between the rows. 
They threw up from fifty to eighty canes in one bunch, and 
were often fourteen feet high. Bats are their chief enemies, 
gnawing the cane near the ground so that it falls and dies. 
A penny was offered for every dead rat, and often 1000 were 
killed in one week. The governor had introduced the mon- 
goose from India to eat the rats, but they preferred chickens, 
and rather liked sugar too, so were, on the whole (like most 
imported creatures), more harmful than beneficial. Cocoanuts 
sold for ,3 : 10s. a thousand, a single tree often yielding one 
hundred in a year. 

We stopped near the house of an old black man who hates 
blacks and will only speak to whites ; he had a lovely garden 
full of rare flowers, and he came out and gave us a huge purple 


Jamaica 105 

lily and a branch of double hibiscus. The dogs drove out a 
large land-crab from under my bed one night, walking side- 
ways like an ordinary sea-crab : he was black, and as big as 
my hand, and I ate him afterwards for supper, all minced up 
in his own shell. Those creatures generally live on land, but 
at certain seasons go off to lay their eggs on the edge of the 
sea, and then nothing stops them ; they go in a given straight 
line over everything that comes in the way. Two African 
niggers came one day to sell some " Obeah " or charm-sticks, 
and sat down in the verandah to finish and polish them, and 
Mr. E. made them talk. They had been taken by the 
Spaniards for slaves, but were retaken by the English before 
they got to Cuba. They had worked hard/and now they had 
land of their own, ten miles off, on which they lived. They 
made twelve shillings a week each by carving those sticks for 
charms against the Obeah people, with "plenty snake and 
toadie on them." The men were very intelligent, and had 
the greatest contempt for " them Jamaica Creole people. Dey 
work ! Dem no } ave tame teem in dem for work what we 
'ave ! Dem lazy brute nigger ! " When asked if they were 
married, and why not, they said : "Me not marry dis lazy 
brute Jamaica Creole girl, Governor send bring good nice 
African girl over me marry drekly." It was suggested he 
might find a yellow girl : " Yaller girl ! me no marry yaller 
girl, she got all de brute lazy lying Jamaica nigger, and all 
de craft and dishonesty of Jamaica white too, she too cheap 
for me ! " 

One of the amusements at dinner was to play with a kind 
of small cockchafer, no bigger than an English house-fly, but 
so strong that he would carry a wine-glass on his back easily 
across the table. Two or three used to be set to run races in 
that way, and one of them once carried a small salt-cellar full 
of salt in the same way. The next house I stopped at was 
over another bay on a high hill-top, with most exquisite sea 
and land views over a park-like country, with groups of richest 

io6 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

trees and palms ; but they blew about too much to paint with 

My host was one of the largest growers and makers of 
sugar, and managed seven other estates besides his own. His 
wife was a very nice woman. There were enormous parties 
of coolies working in the plain below, the women loaded with 
bangles and nose-rings, picturesque and apparently happy, but 
looking forward to their return to India just as our people 
thought of returning to England ; no good people wanted to 
stay in poor Jamaica, even Mr. W. talked of ending his days 
on his estate in Cumberland (how cold he would be !). One 
evening he took me for a ride with his two small children 
(also on big horses) up to the estates of Lord Howard de 
Walden, through the richest meadows dotted with large 
clumps of bamboos and a clear river winding through them. 
The mountains which surrounded these broad meadows were 
terraced naturally, and covered with guinea-grass, on which 
the horses principally feed ; it had been imported from India 
with the Coolies and Mongeese : above the guinea-grass rose 
the virgin forest full of valuable timber trees. Once a huge 
bamboo cane cracked and fell across the road just before we 
reached it ; it would have killed us probably if it had fallen a 
few minutes later : they constantly fall in this way in the sun, 
if left too long without cutting. 

I went over the sugar manufactories and saw the great 
steam crusher at work, the green cane going in at one end and 
coming out a mere flat dry shell, which after being exposed 
for a day or two to the sun's rays becomes capital fuel for the 
engine : the great pans and gutters were all kept very clean. 
We were given some delicious sugar-candy to eat, and also 
tamarinds preserved in sugar, I saw the rum made and 
coloured with burnt sugar, and was told that its price de- 
pended more on the colour being good than on anything 

In the afternoon we were climbing the 800 feet of 


Jamaica 107 

steep park-like road up to Shaw Park, the very gem of all 
Jamaica, where I was received with the heartiest of welcomes 
by Mrs. S. and her wild family. The house stood on a wide 
terrace of smooth green turf; wooded hills rose behind it; real 
forests of grand timber trees teak, cedar, fiddle-wood, and 
astic, cocoanuts and cabbage-palms came close to it ; and on 
one side was a gully with masses of bananas and ferns, and a 
large fallen tree to act as a bridge over the stream, with a 
washerwoman in bare legs always ready to hand one across. 
That tree arched like the bridge on a willow-pattern plate, and 
always gave me a fit of nerves, though I bit my lip and said 
nothing. The stream was so deep below that when the wading 
woman held her hand above her head it merely reached my 
elbow, and I thought I should like to go back when half-way 
over, but had to go on, as there was no room to turn. The 
hills on the south, and the slopes up to the park from the sea, 
were covered with pimento, allspice, and orange -trees; the 
former, covered with white feathery flowers, scented the whole 
air ; the latter had lately been stripped, and the fruit sent off to 
New Orleans by sea. But the glory of the view was to the 
north. From the edge of the small table of green a river 
tumbled past the house and over the hillside in endless cas- 
cades ; one could watch it dancing down among extraordinary 
greenery to the sea. At one place, about one hundred yards 
below, a bath had been made some twenty or thirty yards in 
diameter, shaded all round with bananas, and a small dressing- 
shed under them; a perfectly ideal bath, which seemed too 
good for mortals. 

The air was always fresh at Shaw Park, but there was 
little shade just round the house, as the trees had been cut 
away to make places for drying the spice great floors of 
cement side by side covering as much space as a house. One 
tree yielded eleven shillings' worth of fruit in good seasons. 
The bay below was fringed with cocoanuts, and was very 
shallow : a long reef of coral separated its glassy water from 

io8 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

the ruffled sea beyond ; the white sand and corals coloured it 
with the purest tints green, blue, and rosy lilac. The house 
was surrounded by cows, pigs, goats, turkeys, chickens, all 
feeding where and how they liked. Every one was welcome 
to come or go in their own fashion ; neighbours continually 
dropped in from every direction, unsaddling their horses and 
turning them loose among the other odd animals to feed and 
roll. All called Mrs. S. " Mother," and seemed on the most 
intimate terms with the rest. If the bedrooms were all full, 
there were drawing-room sofas or hammocks in the verandah 
for them. Some arrived in the night, and did not come 
in until the next morning \ but all seemed welcome in that 
primitive establishment. Few of these young men were 
burdened with much education. 

Mr. S. lived on another property, and hardly ever came to 
see his family ; but he and his wife wrote to one another every 
day. The cocoanuts near the house' were sixty or seventy 
feet high, and had notches cut in them all the way up the 
trunk, into which the negroes put their great toes, and ran up 
like monkeys with the help of their hands. The butler was 
sent up one day ; he flung down about three dozen nuts off 
one tree, and then came down, sat on the ground and chopped 
them open, and we all had a feast round them, he supplying 
us also with spoons, which he cut from the shell at the same 
time as fast as possible. The rest of the nuts were cut open 
and left for the fowls and pigs to finish without spoons. One 
tree will give one hundred and fifty in a year. Those fresh- 
cut spoons stained our dresses and hands ; but there was a 
tree close to the house called the Blimbing, whose juice took 
out all stains ; the fruit was about the size of a date, and hung 
close to the trunk or branches of the tree, with tiny bunches 
of red flowers. Many tropical fruits grow in that same way 
out of the bark of the tree, including the cocoa and jack 

There were some curious lizards sunning themselves on 


Jamaica 109 

the walls, with green heads, reddish tails, and a sort of 
flapping lung-apparatus outside, lined with orange, like a leaf 
of Austrian briar. On our way down to St. Anne's we passed 
a dead cow, who had gone to drink in the heat of the day 
(the cow was a fool) and had dropped down dead, and the 
John-crows were eating it. Those birds were a great blessing, 
but most hateful to look at ; they used to sit digesting in rows 
on the branches of a dead cotton-tree, with their wings spread 
out to dry in the sun like the eagles on German soldiers' 
helmets, and they looked most uncanny. The fireflies were a 
sight to see, particularly the large one with two green lanterns 
on its forehead and one red one on its tail ; they were so 
bright that if half-a-dozen were put into a bottle one could 
read by the light they gave. 

There was a small black imp called Ida its mother had 
been with Mrs. S. as a child, so this was the pet of the house ; 
though only half-witted, it ran in and out with as much 
freedom as the dogs, was supernaturally solemn, and when 
told to dance or laugh made hideous faces and antics, but 
showed no natural merriment of any sort. It liked riding on 
horseback, and was not averse to strong spirits, and some of 
the wild boys made it tipsy with rum. Poor solemn little 
atom, it was more hideous than ever then. Eum is the curse 
of the country, and in that house a large jug of it mixed with 
water was always on the side-table, being emptied and refilled 
all day, ruining the health of all those poor boys in the 
stifling climate. 

One night while at dinner we heard a great screeching of 
hens and cocks ; a black man was sent out to see if it was a 
snake, and soon returned breathless: "Him bery big yaller 
one, him wait for Massa Jim, come kill him." We all jumped 
up in a great commotion. Jim seized a great old sword from 
the wall, I headed the party, and we found that the niggers 
had driven the snake up into a tree after it had killed one 
chicken and nearly caught the old hen. And now the black 

1 10 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

people were dancing round and round the tree, and singing 
out : " heh ! heh ! him bery big," at the tops of their voices to 
keep him up there. Jim quietly pushed his way through the 
ring, climbed up the tree, and after a St. George and the 
dragon fight cut off the snake's head, the big beast hissing 
and spitting at him to the last. The butler brought the great 
body in wound round and round a branch six feet long, and as 
thick as my arm ; they said his wife would be sure to come to 
look for him the next night. 

One afternoon they took me for a wonderful gallop over 
some twelve miles of rough forest, meadow, and road, fording 
rushing rivers and limestone springs, a party of nine of the 
wildest young people on the face of the globe, trying to 
frighten me if they could ; but they had mounted me on a 
strong sensible old hunter, and I just let her choose her way 
and have her head free, and enjoyed the scramble as much as 
they did. One place they took me to was a perfect fairy hall, 
with the clearest emerald-green water, trees with bunches of 
glossy leaves two feet long, and stalactites piled up fantastic- 
ally against them ; the leaves of these trees stung like nettles, 
and the stems grew straight out of the stalactites and water : 
all those springs come out close to the scar's edge, and are 
soon lost in it. The road along the coast to St. Anne's was 
shaded by bread-fruit and mammee-trees ; the Brouglitonia san- 
guinea orchid was hanging like a string of rubies from the 
rocks among the fresh green ferns. I was sorely tempted to 
take a small vacant house there called Eden Bower for 3 a 
month, with endless cocoanuts and grass for the horses, and 
enough allspice to pay my rent (fever also in plenty). 

Prudence, however, drove me back to the civilised side of 
the island over the Monte Diabolo. Ascending by the very 
ferniest gully I ever saw, where the banana leaves were 
absolutely unbroken by any wind, we came to a kind of 
alpine scenery a wide waving table-land of grass with trees 
Dotted about it, oranges, allspice, and different timber trees 


Jamaica 1 1 1 

hung with orchids, but not in flower. They were harvesting 
the oranges in one place in the usual way when the "Massa" 
or " Busha " is not by, that is, sitting in groups under the 
trees and eating them. Jim had spent the last week riding 
about seeing that that was not done, and had sent off 5000 
during that week : only making ten shillings a thousand 
(and 1100 go to make a thousand), it seemed hardly worth 
the trouble. I stayed a night at Linstead, a pretty village at 
the head of the famous Bog Walk, and the next day drove all 
the way through Spanish Town, with its big deserted Queen's 
House, to Kingston, and climbed the hill to Bermuda Mount 
to stay with Gertrude S. and her brother the Attorney- 

It was delightful to be with such people again people 
who read and thought, and enjoyed a joke too, and were 
never idle. We were very happy together; though the 
summer heat prevented me from working out of doors, I 
always found abundance of flowers to paint in the cool 
verandah. In the evenings Gertrude and I took long rides 
or walks about those lovely hills ; we often had orders to 
drive with the Governor when her brother could not come 
home, and used to walk home by moonlight accompanied 
by the great bloodhound, who divided his time between 
the two houses equally. On those nights I had a good sight 
of the beautiful night-flowering lily, with a pink edge, which 
was wide open; but as soon as the sun had thoroughly 
risen its head hung like a windless standard. The moon- 
light looks whiter on the smooth wet surface of the 
banana leaves; no native will go near them then for fear 
of " Duppies." 

1872. On the 24th of May Gertrude took me on board 
the Cuban a roomy ship, with delightful deck cabins, and a 
jolly captain. We touched at three of the harbours of 
Hayti, with fine hills wooded to their very tops. At Port 
au Prince Mr. St. John, our charge d'affaires, came and 

H2 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP, m 

paid me a visit on board for a couple of hours, and 
told us much that \vas funny of the Black Eepublic, and 
of its army, which wore the lids of sardine -boxes for 

On the 16th of June we landed at Liverpool, and two days 
after I was at home. 

Sanaj j^^ 




50 100 ISO 200 

J _ _ 


43 "West of Greenwich 40 

London. MacxmUlaai 8c. Co. 




FOR the next two months I enjoyed the society of my friends 
in London, and then began to think of carrying out my 
original plan of going to Brazil, to continue the collection 
of studies of tropical plants which I had begun in Jamaica. \ 

1872. I started in the Neva Royal Mail Ship on the 9th 
of August with a letter from Mr. R. Gr. to the captain. I had 
a most comfortable cabin, quite a little room, with a square 
window, and the voyage was most enjoyable. Lisbon was our 
first halt, which we reached on the 13th at sunset ; the entrance 
to the harbour is striking, with the semi-Moorish tower and 
convent of Bela in the foreground ; the domes and tall houses 
of the city gave me a much grander idea of the place than it 
deserved when investigated nearer : on the 19th we stopped 
to coal at St. Vincent. I did not land on that treeless island, 
which looked like a great cinder itself ; but the boats which 
surrounded the ships were full of pretty things from Madeira, 
baskets and inlaid boxes, feather-flowers and fine cobwebby 
knitting, as well as monkeys and love-birds from the coast of 

On the 28th of August 1872 we cast anchor at daylight off 
Pernambuco, and I saw the long reef with its lighthouse and 
guardian breakers stretching out between us and the land, and 
wondered how the crowd of ships with their tall masts ever 
got into the harbour. Seen through my glass, the buildings of 


1 14 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

the town looked much like those of any other town, but beyond 
were endless groves of cocoanut-trees, showing clearly in what 
part of the world we were. "Friend, a walk on shore will do 
thee good ; my husband hath work to do there, and where he 
goeth I can go, and where I can go thee canst also," said a dear 
old Quakeress of New York to me ; so I fetched my umbrella 
and prepared to follow the leader of our landing -party (a 
Belgian) down the ladder into the boat, but he went too fast 
and far, a wave went right over him, and we had to come up 
again while he changed all his clothes, for he was completely 
soaked. Our next start was more fortunate ; we all watched 
till the boat was on the top of the swell and then dropped 
ourselves in cleverly one by one. It is often quite impossible 
to land at Pernambuco for many days together, and yet in 
this stormy sea, which is full of sharks, one sees the native 
fishermen floating about on the rudest kind of rafts, like hen- 
coops, with their legs in the water. The planks which form 
these rafts are so much more under than above the water that 
the men seem to sit on the actual waves as one sees them in 
the distance, and being black they fear no sharks. Our row 
over the surf was easy enough, though the white breakers on 
the coral reef looked angry on either side of us. Inside, the 
harbour is calm as a millpond, and we soon stood under the 
great umbrella-trees in the principal square. 

It was Sunday, and the shops were shut with as much 
rigour as in Glasgow itself. I saw little to buy but parrots, 
oranges, and bananas ; no ladies were about, they were all in 
church, and as my Quaker friend had told us nothing should 
induce him to take his hat off in those temples of idolatry, we 
did not attempt to enter the somewhat tawdry-looking build- 
ings. But though the upper class of women was wanting, 
there were plenty of negresses in the streets, whose gay- 
coloured striped shawls hung over their heads and shoulders 
in the most picturesque folds ; and in the suburb gardens we 
saw grand palms and other tropical plants new to me. The 

Brazil 115 

fan-palm of Madagascar was perhaps the most remarkable, 
with its long oar-like leaves and stalks wonderfully fitted 
together in the old Grecian plait, each stalk forming a perfect 
reservoir of pure water, easily tapped from the trunk ; thirsty 
travellers had good reason for naming this palm or strelitzia 
their friend. The Frangipani-trees were also in great beauty, 
covered with yellow or salmon-tinted waxen bunches of sweet- 
scented flowers shaped like large azaleas, but as yet almost 
leafless. The flowers go on blooming for many weeks, then 
come the leaves, and with them a huge black and orange 
caterpillar with a red head, which eats them all up in a very 
short time ; in spite of this the vitality of the tree is so great 
that it soon flowers again. The natives say that the moth 
lays its eggs in the very pith of the wood, and that if a bit is 
taken as a cutting to any part of the world and a young tree 
grown from it, the caterpillar will also grow, and appear in 
time to eat up its first attempts at leaves. Ants seem to 
abound about Pernambuco, and I noticed that all the rose- 
trees or other choice plants in the gardens had a circular 
trough of water round them, which I have little doubt is a 
protection till the clever little creatures learn to tunnel under 

We drove out to the country by " the Bonds " or street 
railways which are now established in all the principal towns 
of Brazil, and are a great convenience and economy of time 
and money. These carriages are drawn by mules, and go 
at a great pace ; the sides are open, and a substantial awning 
keeps the sun off the roof, so that one cannot well have 
cooler quarters at midday, obtaining at the same time a good 
sight of the country and its people. 

At Bahia we also landed, and after mounting the steep 
zigzag to the top of the cliff, had another drive into the 
country, which is wild, hilly, and covered with rich forests. 
The market was most entertaining, and full of strange pictures. 
Huge negresses in low embroidered shirts (tumbling off), a 

n 6 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

gaudy skirt, and nothing else except a bright handkerchief 
or a few flowers on their heads, were selling screaming parrots, 
macaws, and marmosets, gorgeous little birds, monkeys and 
other strange animals, including a raccoon with a bushy tail, 
and a great green lizard as big as a cat, which they said was 
very good to eat. I saw one girl quite covered with crawling 
and scratching marmosets; she never moved, but they did 
incessantly. One of the children on board bought a very 
tiny marmoset, so small that he hollowed out a cocoanut 
shell, put some cotton wool in, and used to keep his pet in 
it, having cut off the small end to let it in and out ; its tail 
was eight inches long and very bushy. The oranges at Bahia 
are large and sweet, and they pack all their seeds into a 
kind of bag at one end, which renders them particularly easy 
to eat ; the piles of this fruit, as well as of melons, tomatoes, 
egg-plants of different sorts, and pine-apples, make grand 
masses of rich colour, while bunches of sugar-cane, great 
whorls of bananas, and heaps of cocoanuts form a fine back- 
ground. Lazy people were carried up the steep streets 
sitting on chairs in a kind of crazy palanquin, which was 
hung on a bent pole and carried on two men's shoulders; 
if the passenger were not a fidget he might arrive at the 
top of the hill uninjured. We did not try, but tired our- 
selves out in the usual British manner on foot, and were not 
sorry to get back to the Neva again. It took us in two more 
days safely into the beautiful Bay of Rio, which certainly 
is the most lovely sea-scape in the world : even Naples and 
Palermo must be content to hold a second place to it in 
point of natural beauty. I know nothing more trying to 
a shy person than landing for the first time among a strange 
people and language, I always dread it ; so I asked the good 
Belgian merchant to help me, and he gave me into the care 
of one of his brothers, who not only landed me in his boat, 
but put me into a carriage which took me to the Hotel des 
Etrangers at Botofogo, on the outside of the town. 


Brazil 1 1 7 

I soon felt myself at home in Rio, and in a few days had 
a large airy room and dressing-room at the top of the hotel, 
with views from the windows which in every changing mood 
of the weather were a real pleasure to study ; both the Sugar- 
loaf and Corcovado mountains and part of the bay also were 
within sight. 

The house was wonderfully clean and comfortable, considering 
the people who kept it so; an American half-caste woman 
acted as chambermaid and did nothing slowly ; a black man 
(a slave) did it quicker, and looked as if he enjoyed the 
work; he told me, "When you want nothing, call Auguste." 

The town of Rio has a great look of its relations in Spain 
or Sicily ; the houses so full of colour, the balconies of such 
varied form, and the tiled roofs project in the same way, 
with highly ornamented and coloured waterspouts and 
terminals : the inhabitants have the same love of hanging 
out gaudy draperies and bright flowers from their windows 
and balconies, with the addition of parrots and monkeys 
screaming and scrambling after the passers-by, who are 
fortunately generally well out of reach. One day, however, 
I saw a tall slave-girl's tray of oranges robbed by a spider- 
monkey, as she walked underneath with a well-balanced pyramid 
of fruit on her head. The Brazilians are so fond of illumina- 
tions that there are permanent gas-pipes bent across their 
principal streets; these run perfectly straight from the sea 
to the hillside ; the long vistas of flaming arches have a far 
finer effect than our isolated stars and cyphers. The shops 
in the streets seem very good, but the things are principally 
from Europe and exorbitantly dear. Brazil offers to a stranger 
few inducements for spending money, except its wonderful 
natural curiosities, its gorgeous birds and butterflies ; " Even 
its bugs are gems," a Yankee friend remarked to me, and 
these latter are set in gold as ornaments with considerable 
taste and fineness of workmanship. To me the humming- 
birds were the great temptation. M. Bourget, one of Agassiz's 

1 1 8 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP, 

late travelling companions, had a rare collection which he 
valued at 300 guineas, and I passed many happy mornings 
among his treasures hearing him talk of them and of their 
habits; but after the first few days I seldom went into 
the town. 

The mule -cars passed the door of the hotel every ten 
minutes, and took me at six o'clock every day to the famous 
Botanical Gardens, about four miles off. The whole road is 
lovely, skirting the edges of two bays, both like small lakes, to 
which one sees no outlet ; the mountains around them are most 
strangely formed on one side generally a sheer precipice, on 
the other covered with forests to the very top; and such 
forests ! not the woolly-looking woods of Europe, but endless 
varieties of form and colour, from the white large-leaved 
trumpet-trees to the feathery palms, scarlet coral, and lilac 
quaresma-trees. Then the villa gardens along the roadside 
were full of rich flowers and fruits and noble trees; at one 
place a sort of marsh with masses of Indian bamboo gave the 
eyes a pleasant rest after the glaring gaudiness of the gardens. 
That drive was always charming and fresh to me, and I wished 
the mules had not been in such a hurry ; but they were all 
splendid animals, and seemed to enjoy going at full gallop, after 
the first little scene of kicking and rearing which they con- 
sidered the right thing at starting. They often went too fast, 
and would have arrived at the station before the appointed 
time if they had not been checked. 

The gardens of Botofogo were a never-ending delight to 
me ; and, as the good Austrian director allowed me to keep 
my easel and other things at his house, I felt quite at home 
there, and for some time worked every day and all day under 
its shady avenues, only returning at sunset to dine and rest, 
far too tired to pay evening visits, and thereby disgusted 
some of my kind friends. Of course my first work was to 
attempt to make a sketch of the great avenue of royal palms 
which has been so often described. It is half a mile long at 

Brazil 119 

least, and the trees are 100 feet high, though only thirty years 
old; they greatly resemble the cabbage-palm of the West Indies, 
though less graceful, having the same great green sheaths to 
their leaf-stalks, which peel off and drop with the leaves when 
ripe ; about five fell in the year, and each left a distinct ring 
on the smooth trunk. The base of the trunk was much 
swollen out, and looked like a giant bulb. This huge avenue 
looked fine from wherever you saw it (and reminded me of 
the halls of Karnac). There were grand specimens of other 
palms in the gardens : a whole row of the curious Screw-Pine, 
with its stilted roots and male and female trees ; rows of 
camphor -trees, bamboos, the jack -fruit, with its monstrous 
pumpkin-like fruits hanging close to the rough trunks, and 
endless other interesting plants and trees. Beyond all rose the 
great blue hills. One could mount straight from the gardens 
to their woods and hollows, with running water everywhere. 
The garden seemed a favourite place for picnics, and tables 
and benches were set up under the wide-spreading bamboos 
and other trees. One day a most genial party settled near 
me, several of whom talked English ; one of them brought me 
a saucer of delicious strawberries with sugar and champagne 
poured over them ; he said they were not so good as those in 
England, but the best in Brazil; they were grown in his 
garden and picked by his children. The visitors were not all 
so well bred, and once my friend the director flourished his 
big stick and gave them his mind in strong German on the 
subject of standing between me and the tree I was drawing. 

One day I was puzzled at hearing him continually calling 
"Pedro" in a coaxing tone of voice ; at last up trotted a tapir, 
like a tall pig with a cover to its nose ; he got something he 
liked out of the director's pocket, and a good scratch from the 
director's stick, and followed us as long as he dared. I found 
some difficulty about food for luncheon ; if I put meat into a 
tin box it went bad, if I took it in paper the ants ate it up for 
me, even eggs they contrived to get into, and at last I came 

I2O Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

to the conclusion that oranges and bread were the best pro- 
visions to take. One day I asked the director if I could get a 
cup of coffee at the little inn near the gate. " Gott bewahr ! " 
was his answer ; he would not let his daughters even walk in 
the road alone among such people. Poor girls, they must have 
had a dull life of it ; they were so thoroughly German and 
isolated, they had hardly ever been even into Rio. We had 
some pleasant scrambles together in the woods and up the 
hills ; for they were nice simple girls, full of information about 
the plants and other natural curiosities of the neighbourhood. 
They collected marvellous caterpillars, some hairy, some with 
the most delicate moss or feather-like horns on their heads 
and tails, and fed them till they turned into the gorgeous 
butterflies or moths which abound in these gardens. 

After a fortnight's daily work there the weather became 
cloudy, and I brought home flowers or fish to work at, my 
landlord kindly letting me go with him any morning I liked 
to the wonderful market, where the oddest fish were to be 
found, and where boat-loads of oranges were landed and sold 
all day long on the quay-side. 

Almost all the menial work in Rio is done by slaves, either 
for their owners or for those their owners hire them out to 
serve ; for though laws are passed for the future emancipation 
of these slaves, it will be a very gradual process, and full 
twenty years will elapse before it is entirely carried out. It 
would have been better perhaps if our former law-makers had 
not been in such a hurry, and so much led away by the absurd 
idea of "a man and a brother." I should like some of the 
good housewives at home who believe in this dogma to try 
the dear creatures as their only servants. One of my friends 
had been settled in Eio nine years with no maid-servant, only 
two black men (the lesser evil of the two), and some of her 
experiences were amusing. The blacks never kneel (except 
on the outside of illustrated tracts), and if they were told to 
scrub the floor they brought a pint pot full of water, which 


Brazil \ 2 1 

they poured over here and there, then put a bit of rag under 
their feet and pushed it about till the floor was dry again. If 
a black servant were spoken rudely to, or found fault with, he 
ran away back to the owner who let him out, and said he 
would not stay ; his health would be ruined in that place, and 
his owner's property would be thereby injured in value. A 
good working man-slave could not be hired for less than .30 
a year, though he might be fed and clothed (in slave fashion) 
for threepence a day : a girl for housework got 15 a year 
and two suits of clothes, besides sundry presents to herself to 
keep her in good-humour, and prevent her from running away 
to her real owners. It is a mistake to suppose that slaves are 
not well treated; everywhere I have seen them petted as 
we pet animals, and they usually went about grinning and 

The ladies in Brazil had the women well taught to em- 
broider and make lace, doce, etc. etc. ; they then sent them out 
to sell these things for them, which small trading was not looked 
upon as in the least infra dig. The embroidery is some of it 
very fine, particularly the sort made by pulling out the threads 
of fine cambric, or even cotton stuff, and working different 
patterns on it; it takes much time, and is very expensive; 
this lace is coarse but effective. 

At Rio I made my first acquaintance with a very common 
inhabitant of the tropics, a large caterpillar, who built himself 
first a sort of crinoline of sticks and then covered it with a 
thick web ; this dwelling he carried about with him as a snail 
does his shell, spinning an outwork of web round a twig of 
his pet tree, by which his house hung, leaving him free to put 
out three joints of his head, and neck, and to eat up all the 
leaves and flowers within his reach ; when the branches were 
bare he spun a bit more web up to a higher twig, bit through 
the old one, jerked his whole establishment upstairs, and then 
commenced eating again. He had a kind of elastic portico to 
his house which closed over his head at the slightest noise, his 

122 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

house shutting up close to it like a telescope ; and then when 
all was quiet again out came his head, down dropped the 
building, and the gourmand again set himself to the task of 
continual eating. He ate on for some months incessantly, 
using his claws to push and pull dainty bits down to him, and 
shifting his moorings in a most marvellous way. At last the 
sleep of the chrysalis overtook him, and he finally became a 
very dowdy moth. Some other caterpillars cover themselves 
in a much less artistic way with bits of their favourite leaves 
strung on a frame most clumsily, as a child strings paper to 
the tail of its kite. These creatures are very quick in their 
movements ; I have often seen them cross the room and drag 
themselves up my dress and on to my knee in search of a 
bunch of rose branches I laid there to tempt them, in a 
wonderfully short space of time. 

The lady in whose garden I first found these caterpillars 
lived on the hill of Santa Theresa, and, instead of blinds, 
had her windows shaded with creeping-plants trained across 
and across them. Through the spaces left one could see the 
bay of Rio with its endless islands, strange Sugarloaf mountain, 
and many of the same odd form seeming to mimic it in the 
distance. The quivering haze and blueness of the whole scene 
was indescribably lovely, and the little terrace below was 
crowded with bright flowers. Daturas, bananas, cypress and 
palm-trees gave form to the foreground, whilst the orange 
Bignonia venusia, the blue petrsea, bougainvillea, and rhyncho- 
spermum climbed over both trees and balustrades in great 
masses, the latter helping the gardenias, carnations, and jas- 
mines to scent the air almost too deliciously. It was a small 
paradise, and though my friend grumbled at the nine long 
years of bad health and discomfort she had spent there, she 
will miss all this abundant beauty when she returns to foggy 
old England. 

I spent some days in walking and sketching on the hills 
behind the city ; its aqueduct road was a great help to this 


Brazil 123 

enjoyment, being cut through the real forest about a thousand 
feet above the town and sea. A diligence took one half-way up 
to it every morning ; the road itself and the grand aqueduct 
by its side were made two hundred years ago by the Jesuits, 
and the forest trees near it have never been touched, in order 
to help the supply of water which is collected there in a great 
reservoir. In this neighbourhood I saw many curious sights. 
One day six monkeys with long tails and gray whiskers were 
chattering in one tree, and allowed me to come up close under- 
neath and watch their games through my opera-glass; the 
branches they were on were quite as well worth studying as 
themselves, loaded as they were with creeping -plants and 
grown over with wild bromeliads, orchids, and ferns; these 
bromeliads had often the most gorgeous scarlet or crimson spikes 
of flowers. The cecropia or trumpet-tree was always the most 
conspicuous one in the forest, with its huge white-lined horse- 
chestnut-shaped leaves, young pink shoots, and hollow stems, 
in which a lazy kind of ant easily found a ready-made house 
of many storeys. The most awkward of all animals, the 
sloth, also spent his dull life on the branches, slowly eating up 
the young shoots and hugging them with his hooked feet, 
preferring to hang and sleep head downwards. Some of the 
acacia-trees grow in tufts on tall slender stems, and seem to 
mimic the tree-ferns with their long feathery fronds, whose 
stems were often twenty to thirty feet high. Mahogany, 
rosewood, and many less known timber-trees might be studied 
there ; the knobby bombax, gray as the lovely butterfly which 
haunted them, were planted at the edge of the road in many 
places, and under them one got a really solid shade from the sun. 
It was the favourite home of many gorgeous butterflies, 
and they came so fast and so cleverly that it was no easy task 
for a collecting maniac to make up his mind which to try to 
catch and which to leave; before the treasure was secured 
more came and tempted him to drop the half-caught beauties 
for other, perhaps rarer ones, which he would probably miss. 

124 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

One happy mortal lived up in this neighbourhood and 
collected calmly, with his whole heart and time in the work, 
thereby gaining a good livelihood ; he had drawers full of the 
different specimens, which were worth a journey to see : alas ! 
when I went he had just sold the whole collection to the 
Imperial Princess, so I kept my money, as well as a most 
fascinating occupation for odd hours, which would have gone 
if I had, as I intended, done my collecting by deputy. He 
lived on a lovely perch just under the Corcovado Crag, with 
a glorious view of the city and bay beneath, and a rare fore- 
ground of palms and cacti, one huge mamen tree in front of 
all, its thick umbrella of leaves supported by great pear-shaped 
fruit growing close to the stem. The common snail of Brazil 
introduced itself to me on that road; it was as large as a 
French roll, and its movements were very dignified. It had a 
considerable appetite for green leaves (as I afterwards found 
after keeping one as a pet in a foot-pan for a month), and its 
eggs were nearly as large as a pigeon's ; the first I met was 
taking a walk on the old aqueduct amongst the begonia and 
fern-leaves, and moved on at least fifty yards whilst I made a 
two hours' sketch. 

Of course (again), like all other visitors to Eio, I walked 
up to the top of the Corcovado and looked down on the clouds 
and peeps of blue sea and mountains seen occasionally through 
them, and on the splendid yellow and white amaryllis clinging 
to the inaccessible crannies of the rock ; the whole way was a 
series of wonders and endless beauties. 

On that expedition I met, for the first time, Mr. Gordon 
and his daughter, who asked me to come and see them in 
Minas Geraes, to which they were returning in about three 
weeks. I liked their looks and manner of asking me, and it 
seemed a grand opportunity of seeing something of the country, 
so I said I would come for a fortnight, at which they laughed, 
and with reason, for I stayed eight months ! 

Meanwhile other kind friends asked me to pay them a visit 


Brazil 125 

at a house they had taken for sea-bathing on the island of 
Pakita. I had already ordered my room at the hotel at 
Tignea, so I packed up my bag and carried it on board the 
little market-steamer, which took me in two hours across the 
bay to Pakita. The whole bay is sprinkled with islands and 
boulder-stones some covered with woods and palms, some 
mere piles of dry boulders whose history is a sad puzzle to 
wise men. They are of hard granite, and some look as if 
they had dropped down violently from a high planet, and 
cracked in the process ; others have orchids or aloes growing on 
their tops, and the tide level is marked by a small oyster not 
bad to eat. 

Only two or three of these islands are inhabited, as there is 
no fresh water on them. But for this want Pakita, with its 
beautiful Indian name, would be the Island of Islands. It is 
so full of loveliness, indented as it is with many little creeks of 
silvery sand sprinkled with fine shells, the shores edged with 
drooping cocoanuts and other graceful trees and palms. There 
were about half a dozen villas on the island belonging to 
different merchants of Eio, and perhaps a hundred cottages, 
whose inhabitants make a poor living by fishing and burning 
shells for lime. The little house I stayed in was close to the 
edge of the sea, and any of the party who were inclined could 
run in and out of the water at any hour of the day, or stroll 
over the wooded heights or sands and enjoy the prettiest views 
possible with the least possible fatigue, for one could walk all 
round the island in less than an hour. After leaving this 
enchanted spot I went for a fortnight to Tignea, where the 
rains overtook me; but I had abundant work in the com- 
fortable room which had been kept for me, painting different 
orchids and other flowers, with now and then a ramble in the 
hills and forests. 

On the 25th of October I sent down my three portmanteaux 
in a return-cart drawn by eight oxen, and followed myself the 
next day, in pouring rain, to Rio. After some, necessary 

126 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

shopping and other business, I crossed the bay and its lovely 
islands for Mawa, where a train was waiting to take us over 
the marsh to the foot of the Petropolis hills ; in this same 
marsh were many fine plants, but the most conspicuous was the 
real Egyptian papyrus, growing with even greater vigour than 
it does at the source of the Cyane, near Syracuse. Tall white 
lilies and scarlet erythrinas also made me long to cry " stop " 
as we passed. At last we reached a more healthy-looking 
region, and stopped at Reiz da Serra, where I was put into a 
carriage with three Brazilians and conveyed up the ten miles 
of zigzag road, dragged by four mules, who kept up a con- 
tinual trot, the rise of 3000 feet being well graduated. The 
mules were changed at a station half-way up, and the short 
stoppage gave one time to enjoy the magnificent view, the 
great mountains looking like ghosts through the mist and rain, 
the few giant trees which had escaped the cutting of the forest 
when the road was made, standing out all the grander for the 
background being veiled. As we rose higher the sun's last rays 
sent a red line through the openings in the clouds, and one or 
two of the highest points seemed on fire. From the top the 
view back towards Eio is perhaps as fine as anything I had 
yet seen, with the exception of its having no snow ; the distant 
view of the city, with its two guardian masses of rocky 
mountains, as well as the bay full of islands, and the rolling 
middle distance shaded by floating clouds, was inexpressibly 

Two more miles at full gallop down hill took us to Petropolis, 
and I was soon in Mr. Miles's comfortable hotel, and again among 
friends, with whom I had a merry English dinner. Then came 
two days of rain and cold and loneliness, in which I worked 
and walked and soaked and froze, and came to the conclusion 
Petropolis was an odious place, a bad imitation of a second- 
class German watering-place, with its red roofs, little toy 
houses, and big palace in the midst, the river cut and straight- 
ened into a ditch, running down the middle of the principal 


Brazil 127 

street, with fanciful wooden bridges crossing it continually, 
and its banks planted with formal trees ; though, when one 
came to think and thaw a bit, those very trees were in them- 
selves a sight to see : umbrella-trees with their large heart- 
shaped leaves and pink fluffy flowers, and araucarias larger 
than any in England. My friend Mr. Hinchcliff had written 
me minute directions how to find one of his favourite walks, 
where he promised I should see ideal tropical tangles. I 
paddled through the mud and rain to find, alas ! nothing but 
charcoal and ashes remained; some German women added insult 
to injury by informing me it was " verboten " to go further 
that way, so I returned to my packing in disgust. I was glad 
to see the Gordons arrive, and to hear them say they had 
taken their and my places in the coach for Juiz de Fora the 
next morning. Mrs. Miles took charge of my tin box and 
sketching umbrella, which, I may as well say here, is a per- 
fectly useless article in the tropics ; when the real unclouded 
sun is shining one requires a more solid shade than that of a 
gingham umbrella, and it is far too heavy to drag about in a 
hot climate, so I was glad to be quit of it. 

It rained all night, and was still raining when we packed our- 
selves into the coach at six on the morning of the 28th of October, 
and four splendid mules, after their usual resistance, started 
suddenly at full gallop with the swinging, rattling old vehicle. 
A violent jerk brought us to the door of the other inn, and 
there our fourth place was filled up by a very important 
person in these pages, Antonio Marcus, commonly called the 
Baron of Morro la Gloria, who had been for forty years in the 
service of St. Joao del Key Mining Company, to whose mines 
I was going. This old gentleman generally commanded "The 
Troop " which brought the gold up to Rio every two months 
at least; he was a great character, full of talk and panto- 
mime, either grumbling or joking incessantly, or sometimes 
even doing both at once. Mary G. was his ideal of 
perfection, and understood how to stroke him the right 

128 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

way, so we had a merry journey through the most splendid 

Such scenery ! High trees draped with bougainvillea to 
the very tops, bushes of the same nearer the ground reminding 
one of the great rhododendrons in our own shrubberies in May 
at home, and of much the same colour, though occasionally 
paler and pinker. There were orange -flowered cassia -trees 
(whose leaves fold close together at night like the sensitive 
plant) and scarlet erythrinas looking like gems among the 
masses of rich green; exquisite peeps of the river, winding 
below its woody banks or rushing among great stones and 
rocks, came upon us, and were gone again with tantalising 
rapidity. My friends only laughed when I grumbled at the 
mules going so fast; now and then a peaked mountain-top 
pierced its way through the clouds for a moment and was 
lost again, then came a gray overhanging cliff sprinkled with 
bracket-like wild pines spiked with greenish flowers ; the near 
banks were hidden by masses of large-leaved ferns and begonias 
and arums of many sorts, whose young fresh leaves and fronds 
were often tinted with crimson or copper- colour. The wild 
agaves too were very odd : having had their poor centre shoots 
twisted out, the sap accumulated in the hollow, and a wine 
or spirit was made from it; the wretched wounded things, 
sending up dwarfish flowers and prickly shoots from their 
other joints, formed a strange disagreeable - looking bush, 
several of which made a most efficient hedge. Under each 
of these flowers a bulb formed, which when ripe dropped and 
rooted itself, thus replacing the parent whose life ended at 
its birth. Another curious plant here abounded, the marica, 
like a lovely blue iris, which flowers and shoots from the 
ends of the leaves of the old plant, the leaf being often more 
than a yard in length, and weighed down to the ground by 
the bunch at its end. When the flower is over, a bulb forms 
under it which produces roots ; eventually the connecting 
leaf rots off', so that a perfect circle of young plants succeeds 


Brazil 129 

round the original old one. When in flower the appearance 
was very peculiar ; a perfect rosette of bent green leaves and 
a circle of delicate blue flowers outside them. 

The grand coach road we went over had, of course, en^ 
couraged emigrants to ' settle near it ; we passed miles of 
cultivated ground, and the long rows of tidily trimmed 
coffee and corn gave as much pleasure to my companions 
as the forest tangles gave to me. We stopped to dine at 
Entre Bios ; here we came to the Don Pedro railway, and the 
real traffic of our road began. 

There was no other way of reaching the rich province of 
Minas, or of obtaining its minerals, coffee, sugar, or cotton ; 
so from this point we passed a continual stream of mules 
or waggons till we got to Juiz de Fora and its most comfort- 
able hotel. The last part of the way was lighted by swarms 
of fireflies. We were two hours after our time, owing to the 
state of the roads and the overloaded coach ; all the baggage 
was packed on the top in one high pyramid, and the outside 
passengers were clinging to every ledge, the whole machine 
swaying from side to side in the most frightful way. The 
Baron's head was continually out of the window, shouting 
directions to the driver and conductor, who of course knew him 
too well to take the slightest notice; they were both great 
characters in their way, two German brothers who had driven 
over that road ever since it was first made, nearly twenty 
years before. 

Juiz de Fora is all one monument to the great and good 
man who founded it, Senhor Mariano Lages; even the 
excellent hotel was designed and built by him, and a college 
for agriculture, library, museum, his own pretty villa and 
gardens, and the grand road itself, were all made by him 
for the good of his country, as well as his own. He did not 
live long enough to see them prosper, but pined away after 
the death of his favourite daughter ; and his college and other 
schemes will soon pine away too, for patriots are not common 


130 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

in his country. His garden was full of treasures, not only of 
plants, but of birds and animals ; there was a fence of fifty 
yards at least, entirely hung with rare orchids tied together ; 
every available tree-branch was also decorated in the same 
way, and many of them were covered when we were there 
with lovely blossoms of white, lilac, and yellow, mostly very 
sweet-scented. There was also a great variety of palms. 
I saw one huge candelabra cactus twenty feet in height, and 
the air was perfumed with orange and lemon blossoms. The 
village itself looked very comfortable, every cottage having its 
own luxuriant little garden and shady porch, under which the 
fair German women and children sat knitting with their hair 
plaited round their heads. Every one said the road to Minas 
was impassable from the late heavy rains. We heard of mules 
being smothered in the mud, a woman killed in it, etc. ; but 
the more I heard the more I determined to see my friends 
safely through, if they were willing to be burdened with me ; 
besides, people had said in Rio I should never really go, some 
had done their best to keep me from going, and one Scotchman 
had said I should "not find to paint any in Minas ! " 

The first loading of thirty-seven mules is not done in an 
hour; everything must be weighed and strengthened and 
hung with stout bands of cowhide, balanced well, or the mules 
will suffer. When once they are well loaded the things are 
numbered, and the operation on subsequent mornings becomes 
a much easier and quicker affair. All these arrangements 
were our Baron's glory ; he had to think and be responsible 
for every little item, and made as much fuss as he possibly 
could, getting in and out of a score of terrible rages before 
midday. When the rain left off, his temper also cleared, and 
we finally started, forming a party which would not have 
shone in Hyde Park, but was admirably adapted for riding 
through Brazil in the wet season. 

First went the loaded mules with their bare-legged black 
drivers, then the Baron in the shabbiest of straw hats, any 

iv Brazil 131 

quantity of worsted comforters, and brown coat and gaiters. 
Mr. Gr. on his noble gray mule, his daughter on her pretty 
little horse, and myself on Mueda, the steadiest and most 
calculating of mules. My dress was as good as any could be 
for such riding, namely, a short linsey petticoat and a long 
woollen waterproof cloak with sleeves. I had besides a light 
silk waterproof rolled up and hung on my pommel for extra 
wet hours, and my old black straw hat on my head. Behind 
us rode the two grooms Koberto, the little bright-eyed mulatto 
boy, whose duty was always to look after Mary and myself, 
and Antonio, Mr. G.'s own particular attendant, in a gorgeous 
livery, glazed hat with a cockade on one side, top-boots, and a 
decidedly negro face. Alas ! his magnificence soon disappeared ; 
his coat was ere long splashed up to his shoulders, and, with 
his dear boots, had to be strapped and hung over his saddle, 
his trousers tucked up as high as they would go, and he was 
wading with the rest in front of us, feeling for holes in a sea 
of pea-soup, occasionally not only finding but falling into them, 
a wholesome warning to those behind. The road was one 
constant succession of holes and traps and pies of mud, often 
above the mules' knees, often worn by constant traffic into 
ridges like a ploughed field, through which the tired quadru- 
peds had to wade, or drag their feet from furrow to furrow 
of the sticky, soft, clogging mud. The only real danger was 
on the broken bridges, which are made of round logs or 
branches laid side by side, and liable to roll apart out of their 
places, leaving holes through which the mule's leg easily slips 
and breaks, or if the clever creature recovers it he may be 
thrown down and roll into the mud bath on either side. 
These " corduroy " bridges are constantly occurring, and when 
hidden up with mud are very dangerous traps indeed. Mueda 
was most careful, and seemed herself to know every inch of 
the road, and always to pick the safest places. When the 
difficulties began, my friends insisted on my taking the place 
of honour after our leader the Baron, whose track Mueda 

132 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

followed exactly (except when she had some good reason 
of her own for diverging); she seemed to put her feet 
into the identical places our leader's mule's feet had been 
in, and I believe the others almost always followed her 

Every traveller we met delighted in magnifying the horrors 
they had passed, and said that as the rain had continued it 
was utterly impossible for us to go on; and one party which had 
started the day before were actually coming back in despair. 
Our progress through all this was slow ; we were obliged to 
stop after only 3 J leagues of it, and put up for the night, while 
Mr. G. sent on a note to the chief engineer of the province to 
ask his help. An answer came the next morning, begging us 
not to start too early; he had set fifty men to work, and hoped 
to make the road passable by noon, which gave us time to 
enjoy and examine our present quarters. It was not a bad 
specimen of the ordinary roadside inn or rancio of the country 
a small room with a table and two benches, and an earthen- 
ware water-jar with cups to dip into it, standing on a piece of 
wood which served for lid, the roof hidden by a mat of 
plaited palm leaves, and the floor made of clay taken from the 
walls of the great termite ants' nests and pounded down, a 
material which in its way is clean, though it does not look so. 
Besides this room, with its unglazed window and outer door, 
were two smaller rooms, also entered from the outside, and 
reached by stepping-stones set in mud ; two beds were in each 
mere wooden frames with a mat stretched over them, and a 
sack of well-shaken corn leaves, cotton sheets with embroidered 
or lace edges, and a gay painted cover. We took our own 
pillows and coloured blankets or rugs, for the nights are often 
cold. Near our inn was the shed, under which the men pile 
all the luggage and saddles cleverly and tidily, so as to make 
a substantial shelter from the wind ; here they sit and sleep 
round a good fire, cooking, gossiping, and mending their clothes 
or harness, the animals tethered round them, feeding, or being 

iv Brazil 133 

groomed or shod, till it is time to turn them out to grass for 
the night. 

Inside the house we fed right well, and as we had much 
the same fare everywhere more or less, I will here give our 
average rations. For dinner, soup, roast or boiled chicken and 
pork, rice prepared somewhat greasily, and Fejao, the staple 
food of the country some English say " very stable, for it is 
only fit for horses," but I always liked it ; it resembles the 
French haricot, only the bean is black instead of white; in 
Brazil it is always eaten with farinha sprinkled over it, a 
coarsely-ground flour of either Indian corn or mandioca. Then 
we had the country cheese, which was excellent, reminding 
me of the " fromage carre" " of Normandy ; this was always 
eaten with preserve of some sweet sort known by the general 
name of " doce," and followed by the best of coffee the poorer 
the house the better the coffee. In the evening we had tea 
and biscuits, or bread and butter ; but these biscuits, as well 
as wine and candles, we brought with us ; and after tea a roast 
chicken was cut up, rubbed with farinha, and packed in a tin 
box for the next day's breakfast or luncheon, though we never 
started without a cup of hot coffee and a biscuit a great secu- 
rity against the bad effects of a cold damp morning ride. The 
second morning of our journey it rained again, and we sat at 
the window watching the different passers-by, as they floundered 
about in the mud, with great interest, for our turn was coming 
next. There was a particularly bad place opposite our door ; 
it probably had been particularly bad for years, and would be 
the same for years to come, it having apparently never come 
into the head of the landlord to mend it. Perhaps he thought 
it stopped people and brought custom to his house, as they 
were literally unable to pass his door. One by one we saw the 
poor mules go flop into the liquid mud-hole, have their loads 
transferred to men's heads, and themselves lifted out by tail 
and head, the lifters often replacing them in the hole during 
the process. We, however, all got safely over, and were soon 

134 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

met by "Beesmark himself," as our Baron called the great 
Prussian engineer, a large man with a magnificent white beard 
and tall horse, which I believe was once of the same pure 
colour. After many compliments and hearty greetings he 
took the lead, and we rode round the valley by the steep hill- 
sides, so as to avoid the muddy road and marsh, now powdered 
with lovely masses of the Franciscea, with its blue and white 
blooms. At last we were forced to descend again, and came to 
the worst place, from which the travellers had been turned 
back the day before. Here men were now at work throwing 
on turf and trying to make a causeway. The Graf and Mary 
passed over safely, then flop ! in went a young engineer's mule 
in front of me, only his neck to be seen above the water, 
while his master tumbled cleverly on his feet beyond the 
danger, and every one shouted to me to stop, which Mueda 
had no objection to do. A big nigger was called up and 
ordered to carry me, and I submitted under protest. He had 
no sooner got the extra weight (no light one) on his back than 
he sank steadily in the spongy ground like a telescope, and 
would doubtless have disappeared entirely if I had not 
scrambled to my seat again on dear old Mueda, who stood 
steady as a rock, and seemed to grin to herself at the idea of 
any one but herself having the strength to carry me. 

After we had done laughing at this scene I was allowed to 
walk over on my own feet from sod to sod, and Mr. G. 
followed my example. We afterwards rode on tolerably well 
till we got to the small town where we were to breakfast, the 
high-street of which was a torrent of mud. All the people 
had their heads and elbows out of the windows to see us pass ; 
for many of them had not had a walk in the street for a 
month ; they would only have tumbled into the pea-soup if 
they had attempted it. Our engineer and his party were 
lodging here, and after accompanying us a few leagues 
farther they turned back to give a few more despairing 
looks at the mud, and to tell the people nothing could be 


Brazil 135 

done till the wet season was over a fact they already knew 
too well. 

Our next night's quarters were worse than the first ; for the 
landlord had not been out of his house for a month, and had 
not even a sack of corn for our poor tired beasts ; but the 
night after that we passed in a fazenda or farmhouse, with a 
beautiful green grassy hill behind it, on which the animals did 
enjoy themselves, rolling over and over, cleaning their coats, 
and eating any quantity of delicious capim grass. This is 
almost as good as corn for them, growing in tufts like the 
tussock or guinea-grass of India, with a whitish downy leaf 
which is extremely sweet, and in the spring-time is covered 
with feathery lilac flowers, which give a glowing tint to all the 
hillsides. We also enjoyed ourselves, and ceased for the first 
time since we started to feel damp, as the dwelling-rooms were 
built on the second storey, the lower one being used as stables 
and servants' quarters. The family, too, were more civilised 
than any of the people we had been with before. The young 
daughter of the house delighted to hear about Rio fashions. 
She showed us all her finery, and her lace made by her own 
hands. Even the poor sick mother from her bed in the corner 
seemed to brighten up at having news of the outer world. 
She had a most conversational parrot on a perch. All the food 
he dropped was eagerly watched for and fought over by five 
cats and a dog. They had also the somewhat rare luxury of a 
dairy and herd of cows, brought up a great many calves, and 
made cheeses with the spare milk, pressing them with their 
hands in a primitive manner, with the help of a wooden ring 
and a board ; butter they did not attempt. 

Near here I first saw the araucaria-trees (A. braziliensis) in 
abundance ; it is the most valuable timber of these parts, and 
goes by the name of " pine." The heart of it is very hard and 
coloured like mahogany ; from this all sorts of fine carvings 
can be made ; the outer wood is coloured like the common fir. 
This tree has three distinct ages and characters of form : in 

136 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

the first it looks a perfect cone ; in the second a barrel with 
flat top, getting always flatter as the lower branches drop off, 
till in its last stage none but those turning up are left, and it 
looks at a distance like a stick with a saucer balanced on the 
top. During the first period the branches are more covered with 
green ; but as it grows older only the ends are furnished with 
bunches of knife-like leaves, and the extremities alone are a 
bright fresh green, looking like stars in the distance among 
the bare branches and duller old leaves. Its large cone is 
wonderfully packed with great wedge-shaped nuts, which are 
very good to eat when roasted. These curious trees seldom 
grow lower than 3000 feet above the sea. 

After crossing the grand pass of Mantiqueira we changed 
the general character of vegetation. I saw there masses of 
the creeping bamboo, so solid in its greenery that it might 
have been almost mowed with a scythe ; also the Taquara 
bamboo hanging in exquisite curves, with wheels of delicate 
green round its slender stems, reminding me of magnified 
mares' tails, and forming arches of 12 to 20 feet in span. I 
know nothing in nature more graceful than this plant. Over 
the stone fountain which marked the top of the pass was a 
palm-tree, three of whose branches were weighted at the end 
by the pendent nests of the oriole bird, at least a foot long, 
woven cleverly out of the fibre of the palm, and of the para- 
site commonly called "Old Man's Beard," which one sees 
hanging from the branches and waving in the wind, like masses 
of unravelled worsted from some old stocking. I have often 
taken hold of the end and pulled it out for yards; then, 
on letting it go, it returned again to its crinkly state. This 
fountain was a favourite halting-place in fine weather, and 
jbhere could be few more inviting places for lingering in. 

Every bit of the way was interesting and beautiful ; I never 
found the dreary monotony Eio friends had talked about. 
Every now and then we came to bits of cultivation, green hills, 
and garden grounds. Once I saw a spider as big as a small 


Brazil 137 

sparrow with velvety paws; and everywhere were marvellous 
webs and nests. How could such a land be dull ? Then we 
crossed high table-lands which seemed quite colonised by the 
" Jean de Barbe " bird ; every tree was full of their nests 
curious buildings of red clay as big as my head, divided into 
two apartments. The birds were flying about near their homes, 
and were of the same reddish colour as the nests they lived in. 
Roberto climbed a tree and tried to get me one of these nests, 
but broke it in the attempt ; it looked like a half-baked and 
ill-formed earthenware pot. The ground of this same bleak 
region was dotted with the large wigwam -looking establish- 
ments of the termite ants, as big as sentry boxes, and with no 
visible entrances. The small creatures who make and inhabit 
them tunnel their way underground from openings at a con- 
siderable distance from the erections themselves, which are 
full of cells and passages made of a black sticky substance, 
much used by the natives as putty for stopping water-holes 
and fuel to heat their ovens ; they also pound it down for the 
floors of their houses. 

These highlands are frequented by a kind of small ostrich, 
about which many strange tales were told. I had often heard 
their call a noise something between a quack and a bark. 
They are said to act in concert in many things, to form a large 
circle for the purpose of killing snakes, driving them nearer and 
nearer till they have them safely hedged in, when they seize 
them one by one by their necks and dash them against the 
stones till they are dead. They are said also to make sitting 
parties, building their nests close together in the ground near 
a stream or pool of water, and pulling up a circle of grass 
round their little settlements as a precaution against the inevit- 
able fires ; they then fill one nest with eggs laid promiscuously 
by all the party, then another nest is filled, and so on till all 
are full, the birds taking their turns at sitting as soon as each 
nest is ready. The reason ostriches manage their domestic 
affairs in this peculiar way is that they lay so many eggs that 

138 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

the first would be bad before the last was laid if they were to 
wait and sit on their own eggs only, like other more orthodox 
hens ; so they become true Communists, devoting their energies 
to the general good of their kind. When the time comes for 
burning the grass (which is the Brazil substitute for manuring 
it), the cock-birds are said to walk repeatedly in and out of the 
water, shaking themselves over the nests and their surround- 
ings, and repeat this operation till all danger is over. 

After a long day's ride over these glaring plains, still sticky 
and slippery with mud, though the hot sun was shining on it, 
we were glad to find really comfortable night-quarters in the 
house of a gentleman who prides himself on producing the best 
cigarettes in Brazil. They are all rolled up with the greatest 
nicety in Indian-corn leaves, and tied together with .coloured 
ribbons in pretty little bundles ; the daughters of this house did 
them so neatly that report says they were forbidden to marry 
or to leave the work on any pretence whatever. We were 
received with a most hearty welcome, and lodged in their best 
rooms with every luxury tubs of water, embroidered towels, 
and the best of coffee. Our dinner was also sumptuous, and 
here, for the first time, we persuaded the master of the house 
to sit and dine with us at the head of his own table, a post 
which was generally given to me as the greatest stranger. 
- We had one dish for which the house is famous a bowl of 
chicken-soup with a huge chicken boiled whole in the middle 
of it. There was a piano here, and we sang and played all 
we knew for the benefit of our entertainers, whose musical 
attainments were as yet very young indeed ; but they formed 
a most enthusiastic audience, and the Baron declared, with 
tears in his eyes, he could not smoke while I sang. It affected 
him so much afterwards that he put the wrong end of his cigar 
into his mouth and burned it ; no wonder he cried ! 

At this point in our journey Mr. G-.'s carriage met us. Such 
a carriage ! but if we had been ill I suppose we should have 
gladly submitted to its jolting ; it was a sort of double sedan- 


Brazil 139 

chair, intended to contain two persons sitting opposite one 
another, and hung on two long bamboos, with a mule harnessed 
between them before and behind. Persons travelling in these 
littieras are very apt to be sea-sick from the swinging motion ; 
but I am thankful to say none of us required to go through 
this ordeal, and the machine was sent on ahead with the 
baggage-mules. The sunshine continued as we rode on over 
the high country to Barbacena, the chief town of this district, 
beautifully situated on a hill about 4000 feet above the sea, 
with fine araucaria and other trees shading its garden slopes^ 
Two tall churches made a finer show in the distance than they 
did near. The horrible paved road up to it was good neither 
for man nor beast, and reminded one of North Italy. These 
abominations seem a plague common to all Latin nations. 
"We were entertained at the house of the agent of " The Com- 
pany" most hospitably. I was shown a well -furnished and 
perfectly windowless room which I could have, if I liked to 
stay and paint flowers and scenery on my return. After 
breakfast we went to see the old chemist who was the naturalist 
of the neighbourhood. He had many valuable books, curiosities, 
and rare orchids, which he took the greatest delight in show- 
ing to us ; but his chief pride was in one wretched little cherry- 
tree, which, after ten years of watching, had produced one 
miserable little brown cherry : he had brought the original 
stone from his dear native Belgium, and it reminded him of 

The flowers on these high campos were lovely campanulas 
of different tints, peas, mallows, ipomoeas creeping flat on the 
ground, some with the most beautiful velvety stalks and 
leaves ; many small tigridias, iris, and gladioli, besides all sorts 
of sweet herbs. There are many peculiar trees and scrubby 
bushes with brown or white linings to their leaves, and the 
stems powdered over with the same tints. I have never seen 
these elsewhere. When we descended into the greener hollows 
and crossed the swollen streams the vegetation became dense 

140 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 


again, and wonderful in its richness. Gorgeous butterflies 
abounded, and seemed to be holding dancing parties on the 
gravelly water's edge. Birds, too, chirped and fluttered from 
branch to branch, canaries abounded, and small green parrots 

' flew screaming across our path. Once I saw a great lizard 
nearly a yard long run along the road in front of us, with his 
tail held up in the air like a cat ; he was very stupid about 
getting out of our way, and we had a good look at him. 
Gama was said to be the very worst house on the road, and it 
certainly was not what the Yankees call " handsome quarters." 
An idiot sat on the doorstep, pigs wallowed in the mud be- 
yond ; but the idiot was said " not to be often dangerous," and 
the pigs could not get past him into the house, so why should 
we mind either of them? Our next quarters made up for 
Gama j for they were in a friend's house, with a kind Brazilian 
lady and her children, who did all she could to show us hospi- 
tality, and came out the next morning before daylight, to give 
us our coffee, in her dressing-gown, with her long hair combed 
straight down her back ; for we meant to make up for lost time 

/ now we neared the end of our journey. Mary had a threaten- 
ing of diphtheria, and longed for home and her mother's care ; 
so we toiled up and down the high ridge of Morro Preto, 
whose white sharp rocks stuck up like bleached bones, and 
whose cracks were filled with the brightest red, purple, or 
yellow earths. Occasionally there were fantastic earth-pyramids 
standing up, balancing balls of harder earth on the top, instead 
of stones, as in the Tyrol. . At the top of this ridge I saw 
many strange plants for the first time, including the vellozia, 
a kind of tree-lily peculiar to these mountains. One of the 
varieties was called the Canella de Ema. It had a stem like an 
old twisted rope, out of which spring branches of the same, ter- 
minating in a bunch of sharp-pointed hard leaves like the yucca; 
out of these again come the most delicate, sweet-smelling blue- 
gray flowers with yellow centres, much resembling our common 
blue crocus in shape. There are many other vellozias, all having 

Brazil 141 

the same dagger-like leaves ; some send up long stems with 
bunches of brown or green flowers. 

It was most tantalising to pass all these wonders, but time 
was precious and my friend was suffering, and our next night 
behind a curtained alcove in an extremely draughty room 
after a good day's soaking did not improve her. The third 
morning found her voiceless, but she was determined to get 
home that night, though it was a full forty miles' ride ; so on 
we came, and she bore it bravely. Suddenly a violent dis- 
charge of rockets in front warned Mr. Gr. he was coming among 
friends, and we stopped to breakfast at the house of a black 
man, whose late master had left him his freedom as well as 
house and property. There were many bits of curious old 
carved furniture here, as well as fine silver-work in the little 
chapel, and our host treated us as if he loved us (for a con-si- 
der-a-tion). Over the wall round his house were masses of 
bright scarlet -flowering euphorbia, from the juice of which 
the Indians poison their arrows, and of which the Jews say 
the Crown of Thorns was made. The journey was a weary 
one ; for we were all anxious about her who was generally the 
life of our party, and when we reached the bridge over the 
deep river-bed where we were to change mules I thought she 
would have been suffocated. Soon, however, the hill of Morro 
Yelho came in sight, and, though still far off, her spirits rose 
and her troubles grew less in proportion as the distance 
shortened. Every house we passed sent off rockets, and one 
enthusiastic man pointed his gun straight at Mr. G-., and kept 
firing at him as long as he was in sight, fortunately only with 
powder. A fearful storm came on, and our waterproofs were 
of real use, and brought us in a comparatively dry state to the 
house of a very remarkable old lady, Dona Florisabella of 
Santa Rita, who hugged us all round in the heartiest way, and 
then led us up by a rough ladder to a set of handsome rooms, 
which had been frescoed in a most gaudy and reckless manner 
with every bright tint of the rainbow. 

142 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

The open verandah attracted me at once. From it there was 
an exquisite view of the Rio das Velhas, winding through its 
wide green valley, surrounded by hills wooded to two -thirds 
of their height, and a noble ceiba or silk-cotton tree standing 
sentinel by the house, which I afterwards saw covered with 
the most lovely pink hibiscus-like flowers a perfect mass of 
colour, looking in the distance like a large old cabbage-rose 
against the green hills. Across the river I now saw the pretty 
church and village almost hidden in groves of bananas and 
palm-trees. Above were the peaks of Morro la Gloria, the 
property of our old leader, and from which we gave him his 
title. From this view politeness required me to turn at last to 
our hostess and her abundant conversation. She was of good 
family, and had seen better days ; her children were dispersed 
in the world, and had left her to make what she could of a 
small property. She had spirit enough to work that or any- 
thing else, and her power of talk and pantomime beat even 
her rival the Baron's. She wore a once-handsome silk dress, 
and a gaudy silk handkerchief bound over her head so as to 
hide every trace of hair; but, in spite of the disfiguring 
costume, showed remains of great beauty. Soon Mary rushed 
out to meet her brother, the clever young engineer. She found 
her voice at the same moment ; and we all sat down to a grand 
dinner, excepting our hostess, who stood and helped us all, 
and woe betide any one who refused to eat or drink what she 
offered them. After she had filled all our plates she seized the 
drumstick of a chicken in one hand and a bit of bread in the 
other and took alternate bites at them, after which she washed 
her hands at a side -table, and began carving again, drinking 
all our healths separately, and making speeches to each as she 
did it. One of her dishes had a duck in it sitting upright as 
if it were swimming, with a lime in its mouth. Her "doce" 
were excellent, particularly a kind of sweet pudding made 
with a great deal of cheese in it. 

It was no easy task to get away from this hospitable lady, 


Brazil 143 

but at last we started, and about a mile farther crossed the 
great bridge over the river, and were on " The Company's " 
property. About twenty of its officers were waiting to receive 
us, all mounted on mules, and there was a general hand- 
shaking, most of the party being English. The Baron was low- 
spirited, for he was no longer our leader, and his work was 
over. Mr. G. and I led the way and jogged over the muddy 
road up hill and down to the village of Congonhas, when the 
rockets and firing and hand-clasping began in good earnest, 
amid torrents of rain. The mules became quite unmanage- 
able, either from the noise or from the nearness of their well- 
loved stables, and we all took to galloping violently up and 
down the steep paved streets, which were now torrents of 
liquid mud such a clattering, splashing, umbrella-grinding 
procession ! Mr. G.'s mule objected to a rocket-stick on his 
nose, and kicked his rider's hat off, after which the Baron 
galloped on ahead to stop the fireworks if possible ; he looked 
very picturesquely wild, with his red-lined poncho flying out 
on the wind like the wings of a blue and scarlet macaw. At 
last we were stopped by the band awaiting us, and had to 
tramp solemnly behind it into the grounds of the Casa Grande 
a mass of close-packed dripping umbrellas and damp bodies ; 
and before I knew where I was I found myself dismounted^ 
and hugged and welcomed by one of the best and kindest 
women I ever met in all the wide world, and called " dearie " 
in a sweet Scotch voice; no wonder Mary longed to be at 
home ! And I felt that I was right and the Eio people wrong 
about coming to Morro Velho, and the only drawbacks to the ^ 
journey left were blistered lips and slightly browned hands. 

The Casa Grande of Morro Velho was indeed a rare home 
for an artist to settle in, and I soon fell into a regular and 
very pleasant routine of life. I had the cheeriest and most 
airy of little rooms next my friends, with a large window 
opening on to the light verandah, in which people were continu- 
ally coming and going and lingering to gossip. Beyond that 

144 Recollections of a. Happy Life CHAP. 

was the garden, full of sweetest flowers; a large Magnolia 
grandiflora tree loaded with blossoms within smelling distance ; 
around it masses of roses, carnations, gardenias (never out of 
flower), bauhinias of every tint (the delight of humming- 
birds and butterflies), heliotropes grown into standard trees, 
and covered with sweet bloom, besides great bushes of poin- 
settia with scarlet stars a foot across; beyond these were 
bananas, palms, and other trees, and the wooded hillsides and 
peeps of the old works and stream in the valley below. 

Mrs. G. was constantly passing my window, looking after 
her lazy blacks, who sat down to rest as soon as her eye was 
off" them. She had also many pets besides her flowers to 
attend to. There were two macaws or araras (as they call 
themselves), one blue with yellow breast, the other red and 
green. The latter was called "the Mayor," and was very 
tame ; he was much attached to Pedro, the oldest slave of the 
establishment, and would allow him to do anything he liked 
with him. He was also very fond of one of the cats, and the 
two strange friends used to huddle close together in the sun 
for hours, scratching each other's heads. Occasionally there 
was a row when one or other put too much zeal into his work, 
but after a rather noisy argument in the macawese and cat 
languages they again became friends. Then there were 
three green parrots, with blue foreheads and yellow waist- 
coats, and pink patches on their wings, who were extremely 
talkative, and sang and danced in the negro style; nobody 
near passed these birds without a talk. Numberless pigeons 
and doves, and a peacock which mounted a certain tree at six 
o'clock regularly every evening, announcing his arrival at his 
perch by a shrill scream ; so that if the cook were asked why 
the dinner was not ready, she would very likely say, " It was not 
time, the peacock had not screamed yet." Two pretty gazelles 
lived below the garden in the poultry-yard, and cats and dogs 
abounded; but my chief friend was an old smooth-skinned 
dog called Lopez. He was large, and doubtless belonged to 

Brazil 145 

that famous breed called mongrels, but was full of intelligence, 
and used to sleep under my window and accompany me in all 
my walks. 

We had delightful rambles together, and always found new 
wonders on every expedition. Just below the flower-garden 
was a perfect temple of bananas, roofed with their spreading 
cool green leaves, which formed an exquisite picture. Some- 
times a ray of sunlight would slant in through some chink, and 
illuminate one of the red-purple banana flowers hanging down 
from its slender stem, making it look like an enchanted lamp 
of red flame. Masses of the large wild white ginger flowers 
were on the bank beyond this temple, and scented the whole 
air. This was a grand playground for the Hector and Morpho 
butterflies ; here, too, I used to watch the humming-birds 
hovering over and under the flowers, darting from bush to 
bush without the slightest method unlike their rivals, the 
bees, who exhaust the honey from one entire plant before they 
go to another. Farther down the steep path were masses of 
sensitive plants covering the bank with the brightest of green 
velvet and delicate lilac buttons. I never could resist passing 
the handle of my net over this, when instantly the whole bank 
became of a dull, dead, earthy tint, and only the dry twigs and 
stalks of the plants were visible, with their shrinking branch- 
lets starting from them at most acute angles. Below this 
there were two or three old gray trees, on whose trunks or 
roots I never failed to find some new wonders of cocoons or 
Iarva3, or odd spider's web, green, gold, or silver, as they 
glittered in the bright morning sun, often spangled with 
diamond dew. Lower still were the clear stream and rickety 
little bridge from which I used to watch the humming-birds 
and other small creatures bathing, pluming themselves after- 
wards on the leaves and stalks of the wild ginger or castor-oil 
plants. These latter grow to a great height in this country, 
and make fine foregrounds, with their large cut leaves and 
purple or green heads of flowers and berries. 


146 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP, 

The curious grass which bears the gray berries called " Job's 
tears " was also a handsome plant, and abounded here. Be- 
yond the bridge was the kitchen-garden, in which several 
superannuated black people did as little as possible from sun- 
rise to sunset, at certain very frequent intervals leaving off to 
light a fire and cook for themselves various sorts of savoury 
decoctions in an iron pot, taking as long as possible to eat it, 
after which exertion of course they required rest. In spite of 
this not very energetic mode of cultivation, the place was 
crowded with vegetables, including cauliflowers, peas, beans, 
turnips, carrots, asparagus, parsnips, potatoes, as well as sweet 
potatoes, mandioca, " quianga " (the okery of the United States 
a kind of hibiscus with an eatable pod), many kinds of 
cucumber and pumpkin, and a large bush of real Congo tea. 
Lettuces and parsley were the most difficult things to raise ; 
the ants had such a taste for them that the only chance was 
to grow them in boxes isolated over a tub of water. 

Beyond this garden a slight scramble took me on to the 
path beside one of the aqueducts which brought water to the 
gold-mines and works; along that I could walk for miles, 
winding through the valleys, crossing and recrossing them over 
crazy wooden planks, startling enough at first, but which one 
soon learned to think nothing of. At first, too, my head was 
full of stories of poisonous snakes, and the dread of stepping 
upon them, particularly the rattlesnake or cascabella which 
was common there, but I soon forgot such creatures existed ; 
and during the eight months I was in Minas I never met a 
live one, though I frequently saw them dead, and even heard 
occasionally the rattle near me. Lopez generally cleared the 
way for me, and gave all enemies notice to quit. One day he 
came back with his tail between his legs, giving me notice, in 
plain dog-language, to be careful, while he insisted on keeping 
between me and a kind of big slow-worm they call here a " two- 
headed snake," which is quite harmless, and was on this 
occasion dead. Another day he returned in the same way, 


Brazil 147 

and showed me two guinea-fowls who were pulling a snake to 
pieces between them. He had quite an idea snakes were to 
be avoided. There is one whose habit is to live in branches 
of the trees and drop down on the passers-by, which is not 
pleasant to think about. One day a black washerwoman" 
was returning up my favourite path with her basket of clothes 
on her head, when this happened, and she did not hesitate to 
drop the freshly-washed load in the mud, snake and all, and 
to run for dear life, as did the frightened reptile also, after his 
wriggling fashion. However, deaths from snake -bites are 
very uncommon. Rewards are given for all dead rattlesnakes, 
for whose bite there are no cures. 

It was an odd sensation living in an English colony which 
possessed slaves ; but this company existed before the slave- 
laws, and was with some others made exceptional. As far as 
I could see, the people looked quite as contented as the free 
negroes did in Jamaica, and, thanks to the new Brazilian regu- 
lations, they have the happiness of being allowed to buy them- 
selves at a fixed price, if they can save sufficient money. The 
girl who brought me my coffee in the morning had bought 
two-thirds of herself from her own father, of whom she was 
hired by Mrs. G., as he was said to be such a brute that it 
was a charity to keep her out of his hands. After five o'clock 
her time was her own, and she did embroidery and other work 
to sell, so as to complete her emancipation fund. She and 
another girl used to squat on the verandah close to my window 
working, generally with their feet poked through the balus- 
trades. Mary told them one day if they did so I should paint 
them, toes and all, which would be a disgrace ; after which 
there was always a great scuffle to tuck away their feet whenever 
I looked that way. Every other Sunday there was a revista or 
review of the blacks in front of the house, and they were all 
dressed in a kind of uniform ; the women in red petticoats and 
white dresses, with red stripes for good conduct, bright orange 
and red turbans and blue striped shawls, which they arranged 

148 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP 

over their heads in fine folds; the men had red caps, blue 
jackets, and white trousers, with medals pinned on for good 
conduct, and a general grin passed over the faces as Mr. G. 
and his officers passed by. I could not see much discontent or 
sadness in these poor slaves, and do not believe them capable 
of ambition or of much thought for the morrow. If they have 
abundant food, gay clothing, and little work, they are very 
tolerably happy : seven years of good conduct at Morro Velho 
gave freedom, which they had just sense enough to think a 
desirable thing to have. 

Coppers were given at all these revistas for good conduct, 
Mr. G. thinking rewards went further than punishments in 
the management of these people ; but the quantity of spirit to 
be sold to each black per day was limited, and these coppers 
were only taken at the Company's shop, so that until freedom 
was obtained, it was not easy for the negro to indulge his 
dear vice of drunkenness. All babies born were free, the 
consequence of which was that the mothers took no more care 
of them, as they said they were now worth nothing ! In the 
" good old days," when black babies were saleable articles, the 
masters used to have them properly cared for; and the mothers 
didn't see why they should be bothered with them now. At 
Morro Velho every man has his garden such gardens ! With 
running water passing above them so that they could irrigate 
to any extent, and full of the richest fruit and vegetables. 
The leaves of their Caladium esculentum were often nearly two 
feet long. At noonday the beautiful banana -leaves lose all 
their fresh shining greenness, and shut themselves up tight 
like sheets of folded letter-paper, so as to keep their moisture 
in, and appear mere knife-like edges to the sun's scorching 
rays ; as it sinks lower they again spread out ready to collect 
the evening dews. The blacks devote all these garden treasures 
to their pigs, which they fatten up till they are worthy of 
Smithfield, with almost invisible necks, little snouts, and 
short legs. 


Brazil 149 

They were full of superstitions. Old Pedro, the macaw's 
friend, put bread and meat every other Friday night in the 
room his old master the Padre died in ; and as it was never 
found in the morning, he declared the old gentleman himself 
came and ate it. But Pedro was the pet of the house, and had 
his own way in this as in everything. He would have been 
free years ago but for his infatuation at times for strong 
drink. He had now taken the pledge, and the only thing he 
could not resist stealing was tea, which always had to be 
carefully locked up. There were two fortress-looking piles of 
building on the hills opposite my window, where these poor 
creatures lived and were shut in every night. 

On the other side of the valley stood the Cornish village 
such a contrast ! All its pretty cottages standing in their own 
well-fenced gardens, with pure water running through each, 
roses and other familiar English flowers, and fair English 
children with clean faces playing at hop -scotch and other 
British games in the road. All the head-work in the mines 
was done by those strong countrymen, who were well paid, 
and could soon put by considerable savings if they had the 
sense to content themselves with the food of the country. The 
beef was abundant and cheap, so was Fejao farinha, coffee, 
and sugar. Most vegetables and fruits were grown without 
difficulty; but the miners, who could not do without beer, 
champagne, horses, and other extravagant luxuries, of course 
soon found their pockets empty, and got into debt besides. 

In a weedy garden near was a humming-bird's nest, hanging 
to a single leaf of bamboo by a rope of twisted spider's web 
three or four inches long, swinging with every breath of air. 
These wee birds generally build in this way about Morro 
Velho, often hanging their nests over the running water, on 
the ends of fern-fronds or on the blades of grass, where the 
eggs are safe from the attacks of snakes or lizards ; but they 
always choose places with some protection above from rain or 
sun. They sit twice in the year, never laying more than two 

1 50 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

eggs, which are always white, and about the size of small 
Scotch sugar-plums. Some of these humming-birds were quite 
sociable. One pair had come regularly twice a year to one of 
the outhouses of the Casa Grande for many years, apparently 
using and repairing the same nest, which hung by a tiny rope 
from the matted ceiling. 

Everybody " collected " for me, and the results were some- 
times rather startling. One day a hideous black woman, 
without any previous announcement, poked her Turk's-head 
broom at me through the open window, grunting something 
unintelligible ; and behold, a large specimen of the odd insect 
called "the praying mantis," clasping its hands devoutly on 
the Turk's-head. But collecting is one thing and preserving is 
another, and the difficulties of the latter process are great in 
so hot and damp a climate. Many of my specimens were 
eaten even when hung up by a string, apparently out of reach 
of all creeping things. Some of my collections were not 
pleasant to handle. One day one of the boys brought me a 
large black beetle in his cap which he said would bite. " Oh 
no, it never bites," said Mrs. G., scolding him for the very 
idea ; then she screamed and dropped it. I got a bottle of 
restil to put it in, but screamed and dropped bottle and all as 
it hugged my fingers with its sharp-hooked feet, and Eugenio 
had the last word, after corking it up securely in the spirit : 
" He knew it did bite ! " Another unpleasant creature was a 
stinging caterpillar, whose hairs were as dangerous as a 
scorpion's tail ; a rub against them might cause the hand 
or arm to inflame so that amputation was necessary to save 
life. These dreadful things were common enough at certain 
seasons. I kept and fed one for a long while, hoping to see 
the kind of moth it turned into ; but the blacks hated it to 
that extent that they pretended it crawled away when I 
was out one day a difficult thing to accomplish with a glass 
shade over it ! The varieties of spider were endless, and their 
works worthy of the old Egyptians. One huge colony formed 


Brazil 151 

a web from the roof of the house to the flagstaff opposite, 
dragging one of its sustaining ropes into an acute angle. We 
broke down the web, and released the rope to its old straight 
line. In less than a week it was again pulled towards the 
roof, forming a tight bridge for the enemy to cross and recross. 
This spider's body was no bigger than an ordinary green pea. 
Some of the webs were so thick and strong that they gave my 
face quite a cutting sensation as I rode through them. 

About January the heat became more oppressive 86 was 
the average, though it was often 91 in the shade but the 
nights were always cool enough for sleep at Morro Yelho, 
which is about 3000 feet above the sea, and I was never 
uncomfortably hot. The Gordons, however, who had lived 
sixteen years in the climate, longed for a change ; so they 
determined to go to pay a long-promised visit to Mr. E. at 
Cata Branca, taking a young Scotch lady who had been spend- 
ing Christmas with them, and myself. 

It was a beautiful day's ride of about 26 miles, the road 
winding for the greater part of the way along the high banks 
overlooking the Eio das Yelhas, which eventually runs into 
the Eio San Francesco, and enters the sea above Bahia. The 
river we followed was about as broad as the Tweed at Dry- 
burgh, running through wooded hollows. A good road was in 
course of making along this valley, on which some hundreds 
of the Company's blacks were working, who greeted us with 
hearty cheers. In the fresh clearings I saw many new and 
gorgeous flowers, as well as some old friends, including the 
graceful amaranth plant of North Italy, with which the wine 
of Padua and Verona is coloured. 1 How did it get to the two 
places so far apart? I longed more and more for some in- 
telligent botanical companion to answer my many questions. 
,v We rested a while at a collection of huts that have been put 
up for the work-people near some fine falls of the river, and 
the Head Man there told us of one curious fish he had caught, 
1 Phytolacca decandra. ED. 

152 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

which seemed to have a sort of inner mouth, which it sent out 
like a net to catch small fish or flies with. He showed us a 
rough drawing he had made, and was very positive about the 
story, which is not more difficult to believe than many other 
well-proved wonders of nature. After leaving this settlement, 
we mounted up bare hillsides another 1000 feet, and came 
to the green plateau of Cata Branca, with its groups of iron- 
rocks, piled most fantastically like obelisks or Druid stones 
standing on end, dry and hard, and so full of metal that the 
compass does not know where to point. Amid these rocks 
grow the rarest plants orchids, vellozias, gum-trees, gesnerias, 
and many others as yet perhaps unnamed. One of these bore 
a delicate bloom, Macrosiphonia longiflwa (No. 67 in my Cata- 
, logue at Kew), like a giant white primrose of rice-paper with a 
f throat three inches long ; it was mounted on a slender stalk, 
and had leaves of white plush like our mullein, and a most 
delicious scent of cloves. Another was a gorgeous orange thistle 
with velvety purple leaves. I was getting wild with my 
longing to dismount and examine these, when we met our kind 
host Mr. R coming out to meet us, and in another half-hour 
we were in his pretty cottage, where he had been living for 
the last two years watching a dying mine, in almost perfect 
solitude, expecting to be released any moment. The once- 
famous mine of Cata Branca had long been filled with stones. 
All around were the ruins of fine houses which had helped to 
ruin so many people, and the small cottage we were in was the 
only habitable place on the hill, with the exception of a negro 
hut or two, and must have been a dreary position for so soci- 
able a character as our host. 

The summer of St. Veronica was endless that year, and 
we had the most glorious weather. The air was much fresher 
on the height and did us all good. Every day's ramble shov ed 
me fresh wonders. There was a deep lake near the house, said 
(of course) to be unfathomable ; it was surrounded by thick 
tangled woods and haunted by gay butterflies. In it Ounces 


Brazil 153 

were said to drink morning and evening. I never saw them, 
but they had lately carried off two of our host's small flock of 
sheep, and I saw some skins of these small tigers, which were 
richly marked and coloured. One morning we spent on the 
actual peak, which rises a perfect obelisk of rock 5000 feet 
above the sea. Some of the more adventurous of our party 
mounted to the very top. 

The earth had entirely disappeared from the crannies, 
leaving the huge ironstones loosely piled on one another. In 
spite of the want of soil, these rocks were loaded with clinging 
plants, bulbs, orchids, and wild pines. Tillandsias and Bilber- 
gias of many sorts crowded round them ; the latter were very 
curious great green or lilac cornucopias with feathery spikes 
and many-coloured flowers, or beautiful frosted bunches of 
curling leaves, from the centre of which fell a graceful rose-' 
coloured spray of flowers. There were also many euphorbias 
and velvet-leaved gesnerias, trailing fuchsias, ipomoeas, and 
begonias with wonderful roots like strings of beads. It 
was impossible to carry away half I longed for, even if pos- 
sible to climb over such rocks with two loaded hands. One 
day I rode with Mary and the Baron to visit a dairy-farm 
some miles off, where we sat and gossiped, ate toasted cheese, 
and drank enough strong coffee to poison any well-regulated 
English constitution ; but our life was far too healthy to be 
hurt by such little luxuries. Another day we rode down to^ 
visit some people on the plain below. All these expeditions 
showed fresh beauties of nature and miseries of humanity. 
At last Mr. G. came to fetch us, and on the Sunday before we 
left he read the Service, three Cornish miners coming up from 
below to assist at it. Their captain afterwards made a speech 
to say " what a pleasure and a privilege it was, etc.," on which 
Mr. G. said if they would only come up, he would read it every 
Sunday in the same way. " Oh no, it warn't that, it war them 
four ladies all stannin' of a row ; it war so long sin' he had seen 
four English ladies all at once, it war ! " The poor old man 

154 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

almost cried over the extraordinary event. He went down to 
his expiring mine again, and we rode home, leaving our kind 
host to utter loneliness. 

Soon after that a tragedy occurred which filled all our 
thoughts for some time afterwards. On my first arrival at 
Morro Velho I had found a visitor staying there an old 
friend of the family, a singular old Scotchman with long 
flowing white beard and mane, a poet whose brain was full of 
his country's legends and genealogies, who had remarked to me 
the first night when I said I was half Scotch, " Why, woman, 
d'ye no ken ye're a Johnstone ? " This Mr. B. was the super- 
intendent of another mine about twelve leagues off. His niece 
had now returned with us from Cata Branca, and we were all 
to go home with her shortly to pay her uncle a visit ; when one 
day news came he was dangerously ill, and before she and the 
doctor had gone far on the road, they met another messenger 
who said he was dead. She sent him on to beg Mr. G. to 
come and help her; before any of them reached home he 
was not only dead but buried, and there were strong reasons 
for supposing him poisoned. In Brazil it is almost hopeless to 
think of getting justice in such a case, though there was little 
doubt who did it ; valuables of different sorts were found in 
the suspected hut, the owner of which had lately been making 
and selling "charms" the national name for poison. As 
British Consul, Mr. G. could help the poor niece better than 
any one else could through her troubles ; he also determined 
to have the old man's body taken out of the unconsecrated 
hole into which it had been hastily thrust, and to have it 
brought over and buried near his friends, with all proper forms 
and ceremonies, as it would not do to let the natives think 
Englishmen might be treated so. There was a great gather- 
ing of English from all quarters to the funeral, with black 
clothes and much solemnity ; for the strange old man had made 
himself liked in the country. The cemetery at Morro Velho 
was a lovely spot, on the top of one of the small wooded hills 

iv Brazil 155 

which jut out into the main valley ; and the last sunset rays 
reddened the wooded tops around as the old man was at last 
let down into his quiet resting-place. Kind hands dropped in 
pure white alpinia blossoms and roses over him, while his 
friend read the old service of our Church. 

There was something very touching about that quiet service 
and its old-fashjoned hymns and psalms in that far land, with 
the great mass of bougainvillea seen through the open door, 
and the sweet hoya trained over it. In that same bougain- 
villea bush there was an exquisite little nest made of the 
finest possible twigs and straws, so very fragile in its open- 
work that one wondered the small gray bird and her eggs did 
not fall through it as she sat there. She was perfectly tame, 
and merely fluttered away to an upper branch when we went 
to look at her treasures, coming down again directly we left 
the spot. Six sheep, some guinea-fowl, and the great peacock, 
were always in waiting at the church door for chance handfuls 
of crumbs or corn ; and when the service was going on, a black 
man had to walk backwards and forwards to prevent them 
from coming in too. 



ABOUT the end of March we all started up the hills with bag 
and baggage, crossing over a shoulder of the Coral mountains, 
and on to Sabara, the chief town of the district, where we took 
coffee at the house of " a most respectable brown woman," who 
hugged all my friends most warmly. Mrs. G. told me she was 
much to be pitied, having lost her only son, to whom she was 
devoted. " Was she a widow V "Oh dear no; she had never 
heard of her being married, but as Brazilians go she was a 
most respectable person !" Opposite her house we saw a room 
full of remarkably clean little black boys, all dressed alike, 
and an ill-looking, dandified man in charge of them. He was 
a slave-dealer, buying up well-grown boys over twelve years 
of age for the Rio market. The law now forbids the sale of 
younger children, and every year a year will be added; so 
that children of eleven are safe for life where they are, and all 
the next generation will be free. These boys looked very 
happy, and as if they enjoyed the process of being fatted up. 

Our road followed the banks of the river for some way ; 
sometimes along the low banks amongst reeds and bushes of 
Franciscea ; often over the higher sierras, among strange scraggy 
trees, which were covered with more flowers than leaves. On 
one especially the white lily-like flowers were very fascinating. 
The ipomoeas and bignonias were in great variety. One large 
lilac ipomoea grew in massive bunches on the tops of the trees ; 

CHAP, v Highlands of Brazil 157 

and a smaller white one had fifty or sixty buds and flowers on 
every spray, making the trees look as if they had just been 
covered with snow. The round-backed Piedade mountain got 
nearer and nearer, and we put up for the night at Caite, a 
village at its foot. 

It was a perfect (fairyland. The great blue and opal Morpho 
butterflies came flopping their wide wings down the narrow 
lanes close over our heads, moving slowly and with a kind of 
see-saw motion, so as to let the light catch their glorious 
metallic colours, entirely perplexing any holder of nets. 
Gorgeous flowers grew close, but just out of reach, and every 
now and then I caught sight of some tiny nest, hanging inside 
a sheltering and prickly screen of brambles. All these wonders 
seeming to taunt us mortals for trespassing on fairies' grounds, 
and to tell us they were unapproachable. At last we left the 
forest, and the real climb began amidst rocks grown over with 
everlasting peas, large, filmy, and blue haresfoot ferns, orchids, 
and on the top grand bushes of a large pleroma with lilac 
flowers and red buds like the gum-cistus, and beds of the 
wild strawberry, which some Italian monk had introduced 
years ago. Two old ladies, " Beate," lived alone in the old 
convent, which was still in good repair. 

The Baron took charge of the two girls and myself over 
the hills ; and at the edge of the Eossa Grande property its 
superintendent met us, showed us his trim little mine and big 
wheels, and gave us luncheon, then took us up the hill to 
admire the view, and accompanied us through two leagues of 
real virgin forest, the finest I had yet seen, to the old Casa 
Grande of Gongo a huge half-ruined house which had origin- 
ally belonged to some noble family. 

The great gold-mine here had at one time yielded more 
than 100,000 a year. In that day there were a thousand 
miners there, and twenty servants in the great house alone. 
The superintendent used to drive a carriage with two horses 
over the tangled and stony path by which we had just come ; 

158 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

now, one old black man and his family alone inhabited the 
place to keep the keys (which didn't lock) and hold up 
authority. Gaunt ruins of the different houses stood around ; 
but though their roofs were whole and unbroken glass in their 
windows, they were scarcely accessible or even visible, from 
the thick growth of tangled trees and greenery which had 
wreathed itself around and over them. All was thick mat and 
forest, except on one side where the grassy hills rose, affording 
abundant food for the flocks and herds which supplied the 
mines on the other side of the mountains. To this old 
deserted place Mr. D. had sent furniture, food, and slaves, 
and persuaded his mining captain to let his pretty little wife 
go and keep house for us, taking Baby Johnnie to amuse her 
and us too. She soon made us at home. 

After tea we played a game of whist in the ghost-like old 
hall with its heavy wainscoted cupboards, and great gilt hooks 
from which the mirrors and chandeliers had formerly hung, 
and on which a late superintendent had once committed 
suicide. When the present one would have ridden back 
through the forest we begged him to stay and keep the Baron 
company and the ghosts out, and wishing the two good-night 
we began our retreat towards our own part of the house ; but 
when we came to the grand staircase, behold ! a gambat was 
coming down it very quietly. Now a gambat is not a 
fascinating quadruped. He only sees in the dark, and his wife 
carries her young in her pocket like a kangaroo. He is like a 
tiny bear with most human-looking hands, and a long prehen- 
sile tail so enormously strong that when once he has twisted 
it round some firm anchorage it would resist the pull of a 
strong man, and hold on though bleeding and torn. He has 
also the power of emitting a horrible smell like the skunk, 
thereby driving away his enemies. Once I remember Lopez 
was himself so objectionable after killing one of these creatures 
that he had to be locked up for a day or two ; he was, unfor- 
tunately, not with us now, and we all cried out for help. The 

v Highlands of Brazil 159 

poor little beast, looking extremely puzzled at seeing his 
usually quiet premises invaded by strange creatures, with 
strange lights in their hands, was too brave to turn, and, I am 
sorry to say, was killed ruthlessly by our two knights, who 
had rushed to our assistance. 

The next morning our Baron, who had begun life as a 
blacksmith, went round and mended the locks of all the doors 
we were likely to use, and our party dispersed, leaving me to 
enjoy a fortnight of perfect quiet in the great empty house 
and rich forest scenery, with Mrs. S. and her baby boy to keep 
me company : to her it was an agreeable change, to me the 
thing of all others I had longed for. I used to start every 
morning on my inule, with Eoberto on another, for some 
choice spot in the forest, where I gave him my butterfly-net 
(which he soon learned to use very deftly and judiciously), 
while I sat down and worked with my brush for some hours, 
first in one spot and then in another, returning in time for a 
good wash before dinner. Washing and dressing were very 
necessary, as the abundant vegetation here was covered with 
Garapatas, the most intolerable of insect-plagues, and at this 
season in their infantine and most venomous stage. One blade 
of grass might shake a whole nest on to the passing victim, 
no bigger than a pinch of snuff, and easily shaken off then ; 
but if left, the hundreds of tiny grains would diverge in every 
direction till they found places they fancied screwing their 
proboscis into, when they would suck and suck till they 
became as big as peas, and dropped off from over-repletion. 
Of course none but idiots would allow them to do this ; but the 
very first attempts of these torturing atoms poisoned one's 
blood and irritated it for weeks after. When the insect grew 
older and bigger it was less objectionable, as it then could be 
easily seen and removed before it did any injury ; it attacked 
one then singly, not in armies. But even this plague was worth 
bearing for the sake of the many wonders and enjoyments of 
the life I was leading in that quiet forest-nook. 

160 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

I used generally to roam out before breakfast for an hour 
or two, when the ground was soaked with heavy dew, and the 
butterflies were still asleep beneath the sheltering leaves. The 
birds got up earlier, and the Alma de Gato used to follow me 
from bush to bush, apparently desirous of knowing what I was 
after, and as curious about my affairs as I was about his. He 
was a large brown bird like a cuckoo, with white tips to his 
long tail, and was said to see better by night than by day, 
when he becomes stupidly tame and sociable, and might even 
be caught with the hand. One morning I stopped to look at 
a black mass on the top of a stalk of brush-grass, and was very 
near touching it, when I discovered it to be a swarm of black 
wasps. When I moved a little way off I found through my 
glass they were all in motion and most busy. When I returned 
again close they became again immovable, like a bit of black 
coal, and I tried this several times with always the same effect; 
but foolishly wishing to prove they really were wasps, got 
my finger well stung. This little insect drama was in itself 
worth some little discomfort to see. The brush -grass on 
which these wasps had settled was itself curious, each 
flower forming a perfect brush a bunch of them made the 
broom of everyday use in the country ; scrubbing-brushes 
were generally formed out of half the outer shell of a 

One had always been told that flowers were rare in this 
forest scenery, but I found a great many, and some of them 
most contradictory ones. There was a coarse marigold-looking 
bloom with the sweetest scent of vanilla, and a large purple- 
bell bignonia creeper with the strongest smell of garlic. A 
lovely velvet-leaved ipomcea with large white blossom and dark 
eye, and a perfectly exquisite rose-coloured bignonia bush 
were very common. Large-leaved dracaenas were also in 
flower, mingled with feathery fern-trees. There were banks of 
solid greenery formed by creeping bamboos as smooth as if 
they had been shaved, with thunbergias and convolvulus and 

v Highlands of Brazil 161 

abutilon spangling them with colour. Over all the grand 
wreaths of Taquara bamboo, and festoons of lianes, with 
orchids and bromeliads, lichens and lycopodiums on every 

I had one grand scramble in a neighbouring forest with Mr. 
W., and brought home a great treasure a black frog. His face 
and all the underparts, including the palms of his hands and 
feet were flesh-colour; he had black horns over his garnet- 
coloured eyes, which he seemed to prick up like a dog when 
excited, and which gave much intelligence to his countenance. 
I kept this pet for three months, and then trusted him to a 
friend to take to the Zoological Gardens in London ; but alas ! 
he died after three days of sea-air. If he had been corked up 
with some moss in an air-tight bottle he would probably have 
lived. In the same woods we found several specimens of the 
exquisite little butterfly, the Zenonia Batesii, which appeared to 
come out twice a year here. The large semi-transparent green 
Dido was also abundant, but very shy and clever at eluding 
my net. A messenger at last recalled us to Morro Velho. 
Visitors had arrived, and Mrs. Gordon wanted us to help in 
entertaining them ; so we obeyed at once, stopping by the way 
to breakfast with the Baron's family, to his great delight. 

Ouro Pr6to, the capital of the province, is full of convents, 
and one of them I was told had been built with the washings 
of the negroes' heads, after their day's work in the mines was 
done, their woolly heads being first sprinkled with gold-dust, 
and then sent to be ducked in the church fonts an original 
way of paying tithes ! All along the roads are old diggings 
some deep, some shallow, but all deserted. This honeycombed 
valley reminded me somewhat of Ipsica in Sicily. After 
rounding the shoulder of the mountain, we came to the village 
of Passagio, also long deserted, and to the Casa Grande. Such 
a pretty house, and such pretty English children ran out to 
meet us no children in the world are so pretty as English. 
The country about the Passagio Mine was very picturesque, 


[62 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP 

in a narrow and deep valley worn by a noisy rushing stream 
bordered by rich green tangles. Great fern-fronds of the gold 
and silver varieties were often a yard in length among the 
rocks above. 

We rode one afternoon to Marianna, where the Bishop lived, 
surrounded by numerous convents. The hills round it were 
bare; the place looked gloomy; of the Bishop himself but one 
story was told of his saint-like simplicity of life. One of his 
admiring devotees sent him once four embroidered shirts made 
by her own hands. A beggar soon afterwards paid him a visit, 
to whom he gave two of them, as he said no man wanted more 
than two shirts one at the wash and one on. He was also 
charitable towards heretics, and said he really believed Mrs. 
G. would go to heaven in spite of her faith. In general, 
Brazilians are not so kind, and would say of a Protestant 
friend, "Yes, she has good manners; what a pity it is she 
must burn in hell ! " 

It was dark when we turned back from Marianna and rode 
to the country-house of a rich man of good family, a Commen- 
dador or Knight of the Empire, who was giving a party that 
evening. His handsome wife wore a cotton dress striped with 
gay colours, and, wonderful to say, appeared without the usual 
handkerchief on her head, to bind up and hide all her hair ; 
instead of this hideous head-dress she had a bunch of China 
roses stuck behind her ear coquettishly. We were first shown 
the state-apartments, in which the family never lived, with 
ounce and other skins laid about on the floors, and nick-nacks 
on the tables, some old portraits of Portuguese ancestors on the 
walls ; a tawdry little chapel, and pretty garden ; then we re- 
turned to the real living-room a sort of back-kitchen full of 
litter and black children, with its door opening to the dirty 
stable-yard; pigs and cocks and hens strutting around the 
doorstep. By this entrance we and the other guests had 
arrived, and here we dismounted from our horses and mules. 
Gradually a curious collection of people assembled Herr W. 

v Highlands of Brazil 163 

and his wife (a perfect ideal of Voss's "gute verstandige 
Hausfrau "), a clever lawyer, the local M.P., a perfectly round 
Canonico with red embroidery on the back of his gown and a 
redder face, an old Cornish mining captain with a grievance, 
and several Brazilians, who were soon seated round a large tea- 
table in the room I have described half pantry, half passage. 
The lady of the house insisted on my taking the head of the 
table as the greatest stranger, while she waited on her guests, 
afterwards taking her own tea in a cupboard, from which 
Mr. M. dragged her, much against her will. The tea itself was 
peculiar a mixture, I believe, of the native tea and strong 
green tea. I had two cups to make sure if I liked it, and was 
as much puzzled at the end as I was at the beginning. After 
this meal the men went into another room and played at loo, 
by which they often lose much money, while we women " did 
company " in foreign languages, German being a real rest after 
the difficult and unpronounceable Portuguese; till Mr. M. 
thought he had gambled enough for all purposes of politeness, 
and we rode home through the thick darkness, under the 
clouded sky, following the steps of Mrs. M.'s old white horse, 
who knew every step of the way. What a noise the crickets 
and frogs and other small creatures make at night ! they are 
as bewildering to one's ears as the buzzing of a London " at 
home," and are one of the things which strike a stranger most 
in tropical lands. 

One day we went up the big mountain whose shape is so 
unlike anj 7 " other, sprinkled with rocks as big as houses, the 
two top ones, from which it takes its name, being seen from 
enormous distances : none but cats or Tyndall would think of 
climbing them, but w r e enjoyed our ramble at their base. The 
beautiful scarlet sophronitis orchids quite coloured every rock 
and tree-stem, shining out gloriously among their green leaves 
and the gray lichens round. It was difficult to make up one's 
mind to cease picking them, the plant came off so easily with 
such great satisfactory slabs of roots, and we knew how they 

164 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

would be valued in England if we could only get them there. 
There were two varieties ; one, " coccinea," rather deeper- 
coloured and smaller than the grandiflora, which was about 
the size of the English peacock butterfly. A few hundred 
yards beneath the top there was fine pasture-ground, varied 
by groves of spreading trees. One wonders the rich people of 
Ouro Preto do not build villas up in this lovely spot to pass 
their summers in ; perhaps they fear the large boa constrictors 
which people say haunt these big rocks, occasionally attacking 
the cattle. 

From Itacolumi there is a grand view of the fine massive 
mountain of Caraca, amid whose peaks the great Jesuit College 
lies hidden, and the other side of which we had seen from 
Cocaes. On the lower slopes we passed through pretty woods 
in which I saw heads of a white-flowered begonia with large 
velvety leaves poking itself through thick bushes with much 
pertinacity, its stalks often six feet high at least. The light- 
blue plumbago also grew in the same way. I had an example 
at Passagio of how quickly the leaf-cutting ants can work. A 
citron-tree in the afternoon was perfectly green; the next 
morning nothing but bare stalks remained, and a long stream 
of apparently walking bits of leaves was still moving off in a 
long straight line towards the nest. They are said to attack all 
lemon, citron, and orange-trees, but never to touch the lime, 
whose essential oil is too strong for their taste, and which has 
armed itself with thorns. Nothing seemed to turn these little 
creatures from their path ; even pouring boiling water on them 
does not have any effect till many are killed, when they make 
up their minds to go another way. Often that desperate 
remedy had to be applied, or the whole house might have been 
invaded ; but it always went to my heart to see the murder of 
so many intellectual beings, for ants are not as other insects. 

At last Mr. R came, as he had promised, to ride home with 
me; and the M.s accompanied us back to Ouro Preto, where my 
friend Dona Maria had a pretty gift for me a large spray of 

v Highlands of Brazil 165 

maiden-hair fern with a tiny little humming-bird's nest hang- 
ing from its end by a rope of twisted spider's web, lined with 
the finest silk-cotton down. The enthusiasm I showed over it 
diverted the family, and still more when I said I would not 
part with it for a hundred pounds ; they thought me indeed 



Our last stop on this journey was at the house of a friend 
a big farmhouse where crowds of little black children were 
playing round the mules in the yard, or packed away in a 
building on the other side of it, together with the pigs and 
the poultry, so that the living-house was clear of them. The 
garden, too, was a miracle of neatness for Brazil. Straw- 
berries grew in it and Brazilian raspberries (very unlike ours). 
We sat outside for some time star-gazing, and talking of home. 
The famous Southern Cross is as unlike a cross as four stars 
can well be, but nevertheless is a pretty constellation, its 
two very bright pointers moving with it as our Bear moves 
round the Pole Star ; and when we started in the dark the 
next morning they were above, instead of below the Cross, as 
they were when we had last looked at them. The southern end 
of the Cross touches one of the curious Black Clouds of 
Magellan which veils part of the Milky Way, and makes as 
odd a collection of tropical curiosities as any of the nearer 
wonders, either vegetable or animal. As we had more than 
forty miles to ride, Mr. R mounted me on his own spare mule 
a noble beast who kept close to his friend, and needed neither 
whip nor spur. My mule was abandoned to Roberto, who wore 
a big spur, though he had neither shoes nor stockings, the 
strings being held between the great toe and the next in the 
usual negro style. Poor Brissole did not gain by the exchange 
as much as I did over the long dusty roads. 

A fortnight's work at home was very pleasant, with kind 
friends, occasional visitors coming to relieve the monotony of 
a family party. Amongst others, a gentleman came, a real 
genius, who combined the accomplishments of making false 

1 66 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

teeth and tuning pianos; he also excelled as a dog-doctor 
and maker of guitars. Once we made a picnic to the top of 
the Coral mountain, 2000 feet above us. 

At last Mr. Gordon said he would start on the 21st of May 
for his long-talked-of holiday-journey to the Caves of Corvelho, 
and arranged to take his daughter and myself and an English 
gentleman. We were to have started at daylight, but many 
things came to detain our leader, so that we really did not 
get off till the full heat of midday. There were three bag- 
gage mules, six spare mules, five men, and Lopez. A. G. 
rode over the shoulder of the Coral mountain with us, and 
then divided his spurs between his sister and myself before 
returning a fact the mules soon felt established, and they 
required no more use of them, but jogged on merrily at their 
natural ambling pace. It is quite a mistake to make mules 
walk ; they do not understand it, and dawdle mournfully. Up 
and down the steep roads we met a dozen or more ox-teams, 
dragging great trees by means of two huge wheels made of 
solid segments of trees bound with iron. There were often 
twenty or more poor beasts in each team, struggling and groan- 
ing, with an army of slaves poking pronged staves into them, 
and howling at them. It was a most painful sight to see. They 
often come a hundred miles with their unmanageable loads 
over these roughest of roads. 

We passed the night at a lonely farmhouse the roughest 
of quarters, where we were glad to camp round a wood fire on 
the mud floor, sitting on our wraps. However, we were sup- 
plied with an excellent supper, sent down at midnight on the 
heads of three black giants, by friends whose hospitable house 
we had missed in the growing darkness. We reached their 
Fazenda the next morning. They were educated Brazilians 
of the upper class. We breakfasted there, then rode on 
through a wooded country, till at sunset we came in sight of 
the Lago Santo, a shallow sheet of water getting gradually 
filled up, and I could hardly see the likeness our old Swiss 

v Highlands of Brazil 167 

friend found between it and the Lake of Geneva. It was cer- 
tainly long since he had seen the latter, he said. 

An air of indescribable dulness seemed to hang over it 
and the poor straggling village on its banks, and we wondered 
more and more what the charm was which had kept the 
famous Danish naturalist Dr. Lund here for more than forty 
years. He was now nearly eighty years old, and had made 
several collections of natural curiosities and plants, which had 
gone to Copenhagen. He had corresponded with many of the 
scientific men of Europe, but always lived entirely alone, and 
since the death of his secretary he seldom had an educated 
man to speak to. Once the Danish Government sent a man- 
of-war to Eio to fetch the doctor home, and he rode as far as 
Morro Velho, then lost courage, and returned to his dear lake. 
In former days he used to pass the heat of the day in a room 
he had built and fitted up as a laboratory over his boat-house 
on the lake ; but now his habits were those of an invalid, and 
he seldom went outside his garden, and never left his room 
till after midday, when he liked to sit in his arbour and talk, 
which he did well in many languages. His English was 
astonishing, considering he had only learned it from books. 
He had a good library, and several times in the course of con- 
versation he hobbled off into the house to seek some book, and 
to show us the authority for what he was saying. He seemed 
full of information on general subjects and on what was going on 
in Europe, as he read many foreign journals. His garden was 
full of rare plants and curiosities, collected and planted by him- 
self. The trunk of one large date-palm was covered with a mass 
of lilac Lselia flowers, and a beautiful night-blooming cactus 
hung in great festoons from another tree, or climbed against a 
wall like a giant centipede, throwing out its feet or roots on each 
side to cling on by it seemed to change its whole character by 
force of circumstances. I had made a painting during the 
morning of a rare blue pontederia which the doctor had per- 
suaded with considerable difficulty to grow on his lake, and 

1 68 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

he was much delighted with it, and declared I was " one very 
great wonder" to have done it. The PUlodendron Lundii 
was another of his most curious plants, a sort of great cut- 
leaved and climbing tree-arum, whose leaves are almost as 
good as a sundial, showing by their temperature the time of 

Thirty years before our visit Dr. Lund had discovered the 
stalactite caves of Corvelho, and, as we were now on our way 
to them, was much interested in giving us directions how to 
find parts of them unknown to any but himself. Few persons 
had been far in since he first found them. He told us of the 
large apes, lizards, snakes, and other antediluvian beasts whose 
bones he had found there, as well as those of men with retreat- 
ing foreheads, whose teeth showed they lived on unground 
corn and nuts. 

It was late in the afternoon when we said good-bye and 
rode off, our saddle-bags well filled with cakes and oranges, a 
parting gift from our old friend. In a few hours we reached 
the Fazenda of Commendador 0., a huge building like a 
fortress, with its enclosure of slave-houses, and its one closed 
gate, at which we knocked loudly with a stone, our admission 
being heralded by the barking of some score of mongrel dogs. 
Their owners matched them well, and a most miserable collec- 
tion of beings received us. "The ladies" (about a dozen) 
conducted Mary and myself into the state bedroom, and then 
brought in chairs and sat down to have a comfortable stare at 
us, their slaves standing behind them and staring likewise. 
After some attempts at conversation, we sat down and waited 
patiently for them to go. After a time they departed, to our 
great relief, but took turns to look through the keyhole and 
the chinks in the window shutters, till we stopped them up 
with pocket-handkerchiefs. 

The men seemed to spend both night and day lounging in 
the verandah. Whenever our shutters were opened they camo 
and stared in too at us without the least ceremony. We had 

v Highlands of Brazil 1 69 

a ewer and a basin of solid silver, but the candles at dinner 
were stuck into empty wine-bottles. I never saw any family 
pretending to gentle blood so dirty ; the Commendador him- 
self was absolutely unwashed and unshaved. Fortunately 
those people do not consider it polite to sit down and eat with 
their guests, but feed afterwards at the other end of the table. 

We did not leave this charming family till the sun was 
high in the heavens. Poor old Lopez was as glad as we were 
when at last we started ; for he did not take to the four-footed 
company more than we did to ours. He kept close to us all the 
time, and gave a series of barks and jumps as he heard the 
great gate swing behind us. 

A couple of hours through the woods brought us to the 
house of a friend, the Baron E,. de V., a great ally of Mr. 
Gordon's, where we were received with the most boisterous 
geniality. His house looked thoroughly practical and thriving x ; 
his wife and daughters were lady-like and neat, but very quiet. 
They gave us coffee and cakes, ale and fruit, on gorgeous silver 
trays said to be worth ,150 each, in a long room with windows 
nearly all round it, shaded by banana-trees with their fresh 
green leaves, and black grapes hanging from the vines trained 
round the frames. Portraits of the old Portuguese royal 
family were on the walls, chairs were arranged round the 
room, and arm-chairs surrounded a hearthrug at the end, to 
which we were conducted as .the place of honour on entering. 
There was a round table in the middle of the room, on which 
was a massive silver-branched candlestick, with smaller candel- 
abra round it. 

About a league from this were some pretty stalactite caves, 
which our host took great delight in showing us ; for he had 
once hidden in them for three months in time of political 
troubles. One of them was 1500 feet long. There were caves 
beyond that, but lower, and too damp to enter. The thing 
which struck me most in these caves was the exquisitely 
finished margin left by the different water-levels, like the rims 

170 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

of marble fountains. The cliffs outside were much like those of 
Saxon Switzerland in their singular forms. Some of them 
formed fine old gateways, making, with the different creeping- 
plants which hung over them, rich pictures of form and colour. 
Indigo was cultivated among the sugar plantations, and there 
I saw for the first time quantities of large loose hanging nests 
made of twigs and sticks. Some of these were two feet long 
at least, and were the work of a comparatively small bird, in 
order to guard its young from squirrels and snakes. The 
Baron was a famous hunter, and his table was well furnished 
with excellent fish, paca, partridges, quail, etc. everything in 
his house was superexcellent and abundant. The next morn- 
ing he himself called everybody before light, and gave us a 
grand hot breakfast at six. We started with a large party, 
including the great man, his bailiff, and pet pointer, who, he 
said, was entirely English (though it had forgotten its mother 

We had nine long leagues to ride, and passed only three 
houses all day, stopping at one to change mules and drink 
coffee. The mistress of the house gave me three pink eggs, 
and one large ostrich egg, which she thought she had improved 
by dyeing it a bright blue. Eggs are not the easiest things to 
carry on a jogging mule when hung on the same pommel with 
a sketch-book and a waterproof cloak, and I was glad to get 
them safely to our night's quarters. Cedros, where we were 
to stop for two nights, was a collection of houses built round 
a small cotton-mill by two brothers who had been possessed 
by the rare wish to do something for themselves, though they 
belonged to a rich family, and their old father divided his 
income equally between all his sons every year, giving each 
sufficient to do nothing genteelly on ; but these two eccentric 
youths thought they would like to make more, and started 
this cotton factory, getting the best machinery they could, 
and importing an English mechanic with his American wife to 
teach the natives to work it. 

v Highlands of Brazil 1 7 1 

Bernardo took us out of our road to show me the most mag- 
nificent specimens of Buriti palms, with great fan-like leaves, 
and noble bunches of red fruit full five feet long, which Bates 
describes as " quilted cannon balls," from the embossed mark- 
ings on them ; they make a kind of butter from the fruit, and 
hammocks and ropes from the fibre. These noble trees were 
standing in a kind of marsh amidst long reeds and stagnant 
water. Oxen were feeding near, and they told there the old 
story of the great boas killing and swallowing these beasts 
whole, leaving the horns sticking out of their mouths till they 
rot off. We slept that night at the house of Bernardo's father, 
a toothless old gentleman of eighty ; his old wife looked very 
happy with all her big sons round her, and her home was a 
good specimen of its kind. Her verandah was edged with one 
long trough of growing plants, fringed with carnations hanging 
down outside a yard or two in depth thick masses of foliage 
dotted with bright flowers. 

Beyond this garden of sweet flowers we had a good view 
over the usual large enclosure of the Fazenda, at the other side 
of which was the sugar-making machinery. Part of the court 
was covered with freshly picked Indian-corn heads, which the 
slaves were shelling by the light of several bonfires, these 
being fed with the husks and dry remains of the sugar-canes. 
One man was leading a kind of monotonous chant, which the 
rest followed in a series of howls (not the kind of negro 
melodies we hear in London streets). After dinner we 
followed the old lady into a room, apparently the laundry, 
which seemed also to be used as a nursery for numberless 
black babies. I asked how many there were, and was told, 
" Oh, she had never counted them, there were always more 
bora every day ! Always the same bother of finding names 
for them." They are said to be fully black from their birth, 
and do not darken with age and light, like some other varieties 
of blacks. There were several looms in the passage, in which 
the women work beautiful counterpanes of a brown-coloured 

172 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

cotton, ornamenting them at the same time with different 
fanciful patterns in bright-coloured wools. Near this place is 
a very curious old altar, probably Indian. It is made of a single 
block of ironstone, shaped and grooved rudely, and hollowed 
into a sort of font. It stands on another block of stone, and 
when tapped with any hard substance produces a ringing metallic 
sound. It is placed quite alone at the top of a hill, and no 
legend is known about it. The Brazilians have little curiosity 
about things in their country, though these people had plenty 
about the reason of our wanting to see the caves of Corvelho. 
It was a good ten miles' ride to the caves, and we stopped 
on our way to explore some smaller ones, the entrances of 
which were beautifully draped with cacti and other parasites 
and creepers, from under which flew a troop of beautiful white 
owls. The cave was quite dry, but bore the marks of a con- 
siderable body of water having flowed through it at times. 
The stalactites were very perfect. Outside was a lake, also 
quite dry, which refills every year at a certain season, like that 
of Zirknitz in Carinthia. A league beyond this was the great 
cave we had come so far to see, whose entrance was reached 
by a steep climb of a hundred yards from the stream below. 
It too was quite dry, but the steps or terraces which marked 
the different water levels were edged and banked up as 
regularly as the fountains of old Rome, and the grand hall at 
jthe entrance was like a bit of fairyland. Great masses of 
stalactite stood up from the ground, or hung from the roof, 
tinted with delicate blues and greens and creamy whites. 
Within the cave our scanty supply of light did little towards 
showing the endless halls and passages, and as Mr. Gordon was 
bent on making a minute measurement of them all, the pro- 
gress was slow. The width of one of the great elliptical roofs 
was over fifty French metres, and it had no pillars or supports, 
only the elegant pendent stalactites hanging in groups. Of 
course there were plenty of mosques, fonts, pulpits, curtains, 
and Milan -cathedral roofs turned topsy turvy and every 

v Highlands of Brazil 173 

other way, and every variety of cinnamon, creamy, and white 
alabaster; but the only water we found was scarcely deep 
enough to wash a baby in. It would have made a lovely font 
for any cathedral, with its hanging canopy of pure white lace- 
work over it. We found abundant footmarks of ounces, 
gambats, and pacas, but only one place where bones were 
buried in the stalactite, and they were too much broken to be 
worth moving. Four long days we passed in this wonderful 
cave, our illuminations improving each day. We had bull's- 
eye lanterns, torches of Oanella di ema dipped in tar, half 
orange-skins full of oil to place in certain niches and mark the 
road. Then we had ladders made of bamboo-canes bound 
together with lianes or stalks of climbing plants ; but in spite 
of all this I felt we were groping in the dark, and the air was 
hard to breathe and very hot so far in the earth. 

Our rides home were by the light of a very young moon 
and the fireflies. We tried to keep the cloud of white dust 
kicked up by the mule in front at a sufficient distance to guide 
us, and yet not get into our eyes. It was tedious work, and 
at the end of our journey we found little rest. So after the 
second day underground we determined to try another Fazenda. 
Mounting the wooded heights above the cave, then over open 
downs dotted with silk-cotton and other trees, one caught fine 
distant views of the Diamantina mountains, dark purple in the 
sunset, which was a rare gold and vermilion tint that night. 
The show was scarcely over when we reached " Once." The 
name sounded ominous, but the people were kind, and though 
somewhat astonished at such an invasion, received us hospitably 
as we rode into their enclosure. 

A most jolly fat lady came out, lightly attired in the usual 
embroidered chemise and a red petticoat. She took Mary and 
myself at once to see our " rooms " a large barn with many 
tiles wanting in its roof, and well ventilated walls, half filled 
with looms. There was a low wall in one corner to keep back 
the rice and corn on the floor. This had been swept back to 

174 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

make room for two little beds. Another part of the barn had 
been partitioned off by a higher wall, behind which the two 
gentlemen were to sleep. These- were our quarters, though 
some obstinate old hens and pigs wanted to persuade us that 
they had engaged them beforehand ; but Lopez soon settled 
- that matter. Our men camped in a shed close by, and the 
farmer and his jolly wife lived in a small house on the other 
side of the yard, to which we went for dinner, returning to 
"Mr. Gr.'s room" (the tidiest part of the barn) for a game of 
whist and coffee, putting a tray on a stool for a table. Mr. G. 
and his daughter sat on one side of the rickety beds, and Mr. 
B. and myself on boxes, with one candle stuck in a bottle for 
our light. Our host and hostess and all their family witnessed 
the novel entertainment at a distance, seated on the edges of 
the different beds, for there were several in the room. It was 
very cold, and we put on all the wraps we possessed, including 
our own particular blankets, which we carried with us. We 
must have formed rather a strange collection of human 
oddities, and no doubt the natives thought we wore the 
national costumes of our country. At last they were tired 
out and retired, while we kept on at our game till nine o'clock, 
when we all drank hot sugar-and-water to keep out the cold 
(having finished our last drop of anything stronger), and dis- 
persed to our several corners of the barn. Lopez, as usual, 
kept close to us, but was not content till he had driven all the 
poor chickens from their usual roostings on the looms or beams 
of the roof. He would also not allow a single cat or rat in 
the same room with him, and made sundry rushes at fancied 
intrusions during the night. How cold it was ! How the 
wind whistled through the holes in the wall close to us ! Mary 
said she should die if she stayed a second night, but she did 
not; for we had another long day in the cave and another 
night in the barn, and then rode over the windy sierras back 
to Cedros, where we were again loaded with Mrs. N.'s abundant 
talk and kindness. 

v Highlands of Brazil 175 

Our host rode on with us and lost his way before we had 
gone three miles, though we were bound for the principal 
town of that district ! It was very cold when we reached the 
top of the sierras, and the cold seemed all the stranger that 
we were passing through miles of burning grass. Setting it 
on fire at certain seasons is the only form of manuring it ever 
gets ; after that it springs up with new life. The fire also kills 
many of the snakes, and insects who would devour it and the 
other crops. At night the country was quite illuminated by 
the burning hills. The name of Sette Sugons describes the 
place a low village near a marsh and pools of water, which 
suggest a longing for quinine, but it was said not to be un- 
healthy. We stopped at a really decent little inn kept by an 
old black woman named Donna Anna. Our room was full of 
sacks of grain and bales of groceries; but the beds were 
covered with gorgeous quilts, the linen dazzlingly white, edged 
with fine lace and knotted fringe, also made by hand. We 
had even a looking-glass, and a basin and jug; but these 
luxuries had to go the round of the guests from room to room, 
including a strolling photographer, whose chemicals occa- 
sionally sent the water in rather black. His price was twenty 
millen reis a head (.2). I believe a good living might be 
made by any one who could take portraits (however indiffer- 
ently) in these far-off countries. Many of the country people 
here who appear so poor are really rich, and only want the 
vanities or luxuries of life to tempt the money from theii 

Donna Anna was a famous cook, and did nearly all herself. 
her "helps" sitting down and grinning by her. The whole 
evening we vainly endeavoured to keep the doors shut and the 
draughts out; as fast as one was shut some grinning black 
head was poked in at the other. The free blacks were espe- 
cially curious about us, and in honour of our arrival they put 
any amount of grease on their hair, stretching and straightening 
it with weights at the end till they fancied it looked " like any 

1 76 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

other gentleman's." Another cold day's ride brought us to a 
large farmhouse belonging to a very remarkable family, who 
would have made their fortunes at fairs. The farmer himself 
was perfectly round, with a bullet head and face, all over 
which grew hair and beard apparently cut with his wife's 
bluntest pair of scissors as close as he could with his left 
hand. His fat wife had a thick black beard and moustache 
(uncut), her grandmother the same in gray. The children were 
all perfectly round, like their fascinating parents, but as yet 
beardless. We had a grand but greasy dinner ; the table quite 
groaned beneath the quantity of heavy dishes on it. A small 
pig cooked whole, and considerably over the usual size for 
making such a barbarous exhibition of itself, was among the 
dainties. After dinner we sat in a large unfurnished saloon 
and did " company." It was no easy task to keep up a con- 
versation even for my friend, with her perfect knowledge of 
the language ; for these people were absolutely without ideas, 
except the usual desire to know what everything cost. 

It was a relief the next morning to hear the tremendous 
voice of our friend the Baron R. V. before daylight, shouting 
to the gentlemen in the adjoining room. He seemed to bring 
a more genial world nearer to us. He had ridden over in a 
wonderful peaked woollen hood to make sure we did not pass 
his house without going in. Now his house was not in our 
road at all ; but it was impossible to refuse our friend's positive 
determination to take us there, and we resigned ourselves to 
his will. After having my face scrubbed by the old grand- 
mother's gray beard, my mule took to fidgeting, and I escaped 
more adieux and went on ahead. The old lady said she 
should always have " Sandades " of me, and I am sure I shall 
never forget her, though the beautiful Portuguese word is 
untranslatable. It was very refreshing to sit a while with the 
quiet Baronessa and her silver coffee-tray and Minton cups, all 
so bright and clean ; but after a rest and a chat we went on 
to Dr. Lund's again, and were obliged to stop another night 

v Highlands of Brazil 177 

at the grocer's, as the old gentleman never came out of his 
shell before midday. After a while we rode on a little farther 
to the house of our old Swiss friend, which he had turned out- 
side in for us. He would let no one wait on us but himself, 
had cut down twenty dwarf palm-trees to make one dish of 
cabbage for us, and hung up various branches and bright 
flowers about the verandah a decoration no native would 
think of. 

We had but a short journey on to the " City " of Santa 
Lucia, a most picturesquely situated village on the top of a 
hill, looking over a long stretch of the winding Eio das Velhas^ 
which again reminded me of the Tweed, and except for a few 
palm-trees looked not a bit more tropical ; while the churches, 
with their metal pepper-pot towers, and the tiled roofs of the 
one-storeyed houses, suggested Hungary. A few houses stood 
up out of all proportion to the others. To the largest of these 
we now rode, and found a friend there who was staying on a 
visit to the poor old Baronessa of S. L., who was then a terrible 
sufferer, paralysed even to her tongue. After having been a 
generous and sociable woman, she was now neglected and left 
to the entire care of slaves, while her relations were fighting 
over her property. She had built hospitals and schools and 
churches, and had brought up numerous nephews and nieces, 
not one of whom seemed to take any charge of her comfort now. 
The lady we found there was, like ourselves, a passing guest. 
One nephew she had sent to Eio a short while before, telling 
him he might draw money if he wanted it from her credit ; he 
stayed three months, drew 8000, and had nothing to show for 
it. Somehow we made out that the poor old lady liked music, 
so we dragged her chair into one of the bedrooms where there 
was an antique piano, and gave her as much as she liked of it. 
She gave us each at parting a piece of wide thread lace made 
by her slaves. The chests in which this lace was kept were 
covered with the skins of big snakes of the country; they looked 
like scale armour, and were said to be as strong as any leather. 


178 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

From Santa Lucia our way was hot and dusty as we crept 
round the shoulder of the Piedade mountain, and came at last 
to a ridge from whence we looked down on the pretty town of 
Sahara, descending by a road so steep that walking was almost 
a necessity, after which we were glad to escape from the glare 
into the shelter of Donna Anna's roof, where we lingered till 
the cool evening and rode home by moonlight ; what luxury 
" home " was after such a three weeks of wandering ! 

On the 2d of July I saw the last of dear old Morro Velho, 
and accompanied Mr. and Mrs. G. back to Eossa Grande, and 
on to Cocaes. The forest of Gongo had lost much of its 
beauty during this cold dry season ; more trees had lost their 
leaves than I expected in a tropical country, and flowers were 
quite rare. I was rather glad of this, as it made me regret less 
that I was leaving so lovely a country, and I took away the 
hope of seeing my kind friends again in England; but in spite of 
this it was hard to say good-bye to dear Mrs. Gordon at Cocaes. 
Mr. G. was to go down with me to Caraca, so down we went 
to a bare hill country, and leaving the village of St. John to 
our right, soon came to the bridge and ravine of Caite. It 
was a fete day, and everybody was on the road dressed in 
their best. 

The college of Caraca reminded me somewhat of the Great 
St. Bernard, minus the snow. We found the Superior Padre 
Julio expecting us, and after dismounting in the court he 
walked down to a lower building and introduced me to a 
stout old lady with a black silk handkerchief tied over 
her head, whom I afterwards found to be the Chief of the 
washerwomen ; he left me to her care, taking his other guests 
to be entertained in the convent itself. The smallest little 
room I ever saw had been prepared, but after seeing me the 
old lady seemed to think it would be too tight a fit, and she 
moved the bed into her own comfortable apartment, where I 
spent a pleasant evening with a heap of valuable botanical 
books sent down from the library by the good Padre, who also 

v Highlands of Brazil 179 

took care to feed me well. He was a most fascinating 
character, full of general information and knowledge of the 
world ; moreover, a thorough gentleman. The next morning 
he was down before seven o'clock looking at my drawings, and 
giving me the names of many of the strange plants I had been 
hunting for so long. He took me to see the library and garden, 
and told me I was the first woman who had entered there for 
seventeen years. There are about two hundred and fifty 
students in this college, and nine padres, besides my friend ; 
but what a difference there was in those men ! I was told 
there was one other who would have interested me, as he was 
a naturalist, but he was away. Padre Julio told me he wanted 
to start a museum and classes for natural history, but the 
Brazilians did not see the good of it, and did not care to 
inquire into such things. This same absent priest was a good 
carpenter, and they showed me a beautifully finished flageolet 
he had made out of the heart of the Araucaria pine, using up 
his old spurs for the silver parts. The boys at this college 
paid only 30 a year, and were taught French, English, and 
Latin, as well as mathematics and Portuguese. 

The neighbourhood abounded in rare orchids and other 
plants, but the rain never ceased to pour, and at this time of 
year it generally did pour on these mountains ; so there was 
little use in staying, and I resisted all the kind wishes of the 
Superior that I should stop on at the washerwoman's, and said 
good-bye to him and to Mr. Gordon, who had loaded me with 
such continual kindness and hospitality for the last eight 
months. He now returned to Cocaes, while I rode after the 
Baron in the opposite direction. 

We crossed the high boggy watershed, every pool and river 
being bordered with a curious dwarf bamboo peculiar to this 
mountain, more like young cypresses than canes; and the 
rocks were everywhere covered with rare orchids. The descent 
was over the roughest of tracks, and we had to walk for quite 
two hours, and quickly too, for the darkness was creeping on. 

180 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

The Baron grumbled incessantly at those who had kept him so 
late. The wild bromeliads were glorious ; I saw acres of one I 
had given ten shillings for not many years ago at Henderson's 
a nidularia with deep carmine nest and turquoise flowers in 
the centre. After much sliding, tumbling, and slipping, we 
arrived at Senor Antonio de Sonlea's, and were received most 
kindly by him and his young wife. Before eight the next 
morning we were riding over the smaller spurs and still under 
the wet clouds of Caraca, now and then getting a good shower- 
bath from some overhanging curl of bamboo or green tangle 
as we passed. Everything was dripping with moisture ; how 
lovely those wet mornings were ! And the huge spiders' webs 
all strung with crystal beads, so strong that they seemed to 
cut one's face riding through them. 

About eleven we entered the principal iron basin of Minas, 
San Antonio de Pereira, where all the roads and rivers were 
black and all the rocks red. After winding for some time 
through this singular valley, we mounted high over the next 
ridge, and presently looked down on Santa Anna, Marianna, 
and finally on Ouro Pre"to; Itacolumi being covered with 
cloud like Caraca. Instead of going into the capital, we 
turned aside through its eastern suburb and crossed the river 
to the new road. The town is wonderfully picturesque, though 
most inconveniently built for its inhabitants, stretching over 
the steep spurs of real mountains. At a distance, the roofs of 
the houses looked like a succession of steps. I longed to sketch, 
but did not like to stop the Baron, as we had had a hard day's 
work for the mules; so we went on farther and put up at a lonely 
rancha by a bridge, and secured the whole three rooms in the 
house to ourselves. All the sheds outside were filled with 
merchandise and people on their way from Diamantina to Bio. 
Now that the Cape diamonds are so much easier to obtain, the 
famous old mines of Brazil have been nearly abandoned; 
labour is so much dearer there that it hardly pays to work 
them, though the stones are of better quality. 

v Highlands of Brazil 181 

More troops of mules and men from this old Diamantina 
arrived that same night, and the Baron was most mysterious 
about knowing them and not letting them know him, etc. etc. 
He insisted on starting before daylight to get ahead of them ; 
so we jogged on through cloud and cold into sun and dust, and 
over dazzling many-coloured sandstone roads for five hours, 
only stopping once at a lonely hut to change mules and eat 
our bread and cheese, then on again by a road which was in 
many places "carriageable," but then minus the carriages. 
We passed instead endless processions of loaded mules, generally 
led by the " Madrina " a horse with a peal of bells, feathers, 
and a curious little dressed-up doll in orthodox crinoline, doing 
duty for the Madonna, suspended over his headpiece. 

We arrived at our night's quarters soon after midday, and 
got the rooms the Baron wanted, in a most comfortable house 
kept by people who had seen better days, and had done their 
best to educate their children. Three of the girls took me a 
stroll through the farm, and showed me many curious little 
insect-nests of different sorts, for in these countries the insects 
are even more curious in their home -architecture than the 
birds ; one little cocoon I saw here seemed of the finest frosted 
silver. The small town of Che Luz is famous for its guitars, 
and I saw the work of making them going on in several of the 
houses. Eibera I shall never forget; it is notoriously the 
worst quarters on the road. I had a very tolerable mud- 
floored room to myself, and a quantity of pigeons pattering 
over the mat (which did duty for a ceiling over my head), 
cooing to one another, and kicking down dust and fleas, which 
last were also taking visibly all sorts of calisthenic exercises on 
the floor. From the window I had an uninterrupted view of 
the farmyard or general slop-pan of ages; but when I had 
rushed from all this up the hill to the wild country, I thought 
even Eibera was worth a journey to see. Birds like canaries 
were twittering in the bushes ; armies of ants were carrying on 
their mysterious occupations ; their great nests lined the road 

1 82 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

with such regularity one almost fancied they had heen part of 
the design of the engineer who made it. The air was as 
delicious as air could be, and as I returned from my walk I 
almost envied the man who owned Ribera ! He was a Justice 
of the Peace, and my beautiful room was his "study" on 
ordinary occasions. Besides its two beds, it had a table with 
legs of such very odd shapes and lengths that three of them 
required stones of different sizes to keep them standing at all ; 
there was nearly a foot of difference between the longest and 
shortest leg ; on the table stood his worship's law-dictionary, 
and inkstand full of black dry porridge. He and the rest of 
his variously coloured family lounged about and stared ; and I 
was again assured, as on coming up, that the lunatic who sat 
on the doorstep was generally harmless : on the whole, one 
would avoid this place if there were any other within ten 
miles to stop at. I suppose the Baron was glad to leave it as 
early as he could, for we were in our saddles before daylight. 
It was cold, but very beautiful, seeing the full moon gradually 
fade into the more gorgeous tints of dawn, the hill -tops 
dipped in pure gold, the nearer and lower ones deep purple. 
My poor old leader was quite ill, and when we got to the half- 
way house he said he could go no farther, but changed his 
mind after breakfast. 

I walked into the back verandah to get into the sun, for I 
was half numbed with cold, and found a huge copper pan (the 
usual bath of the country) placed on a great bonfire in the 
yard, full of stewing meat, stirred round and round by two 
men with long poles; on the kitchen-fire a huge caldron of 
potatoes was boiling, so we had little chance of starving. The 
fat landlady took a dish in one hand and a long kind of toast- 
ing fork in the other, with which she fished out dainty bits 
for us from the two steaming messes. We left again by moon- 
light, but this time had no sun to cheer us, and though I put 
on a pair of gloves for the first time for a year I could scarcely 
feel my fingers for the cold, and yet it was not freezing. 

v Highlands of Brazil 183 

We stopped at another solitary house for breakfast, and I 
watched the woman making biscuits of mandioca flour and 
white of egg, each one separately rolled out like a ring on a 
large pleroma leaf, which was then put in the baking-tin 
(they generally used the banana leaves; these would have 
gained a prize among foliage plants at an English horti- 
cultural show). At Popoyas I declined the state apartments 
upstairs, where I should have had to sit bolt upright in a 
chair and smile blandly all the afternoon in return for the 
hospitable stares of the family, so I pleaded fatigue and 
stayed in the ordinary travellers' room. The next day we 
passed again over the fine sierra of Mantiqueira; the holes 
where mules were drowning in the wet season were now 
full of dust but unmended, the bridges were even more 
dangerous than they were then, and the half-eaten carcase 
of a mule surrounded by a tribe of Burinboos was tainting 
the air for miles. 

My last night on this journey was an unquiet one, in 
another solitary house near the new railway works. It was 
Sunday, and half-drunken navvies came and thumped at the 
door all night. My room opened on the verandah and got its 
share of thumps too, but I knew if the Baron or Eoberto 
wanted anything they would begin " Dona Pop ! " and not 
hearing that, I hugged the cold blankets and kept still till 
called as usual at four, for I knew there was a wooden bar 
across the door which would resist any quantity of thumping. 
But the mules had got into sweet pasture and would not be 
found, and the thick cloud made it no easy task to hunt for 
them. Four hours it took, when the poor men came in soaked 
and shivering, and the Baron stormed and grumbled : " There 
had been such a row he had not slept a wink ; it was too cold 
even to take off his boots, and the coffee was burned," etc. ; 
so he grumbled himself into high good-humour long before we 
entered the trim German suburb of Juiz de Fora. The next 
morning, after squeezing the good old Baron's hand for the 

184 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAR 

last time with real regret, I packed myself into the crowded 
coach and was whirled away towards Bio. 

The distant Organ Mountains peeped at us over the ends of 
the green valleys, and I again thought nothing in the world 
could be lovelier than that marvellous road ; and then what a 
welcome the kind M.s gave me, and what a cosy little room 
in their house at Petropolis ! It was rather pleasant too to 
see my old box again and its contents. Of what priceless value 
those shoes and stockings and paints seemed to me ! And how 
I longed for them! I had intended starting for Para in a 
week, but was persuaded to give it up, as the yellow fever was 
still lingering all along the coast ; and I had a longing first for 
rest in my pleasant, comfortable quarters, and then still more 
for a sight of home, friends, and books again. 

Meanwhile I made two visits to Eio, the chief object of 
which was to see the Emperor, to whom I had a letter from 
my father's old friend Sir Edward Sabine. The Emperor is a 
man who would be worth some trouble to know, even if he 
were the poorest of private gentlemen ; he is eminently a 
gentleman, and full of information and general knowledge on 
all subjects. He lives more the life of a student than that to 
which ordinary princes condemn themselves. He gives no 
public entertainment, but on certain days he and the Empress 
will receive the poorest of their subjects who like to take 
their complaints to them. He kindly gave me a special 
appointment in the morning, and spent more than an hour 
examining my paintings and talking them over, telling me the 
names and qualities of different plants which I did not know 
myself. He then took the whole mass (no small weight) in his 
arms, and carried them in to show the Empress, telling me to 
follow. She was also very kind, with a sweet, gentle manner, 
and both had learned since their journey to Europe (of which 
they never tired of talking) to shake hands in the English 
manner. They had both prematurely white hair, brought on 
by the trouble of losing their daughter and the miserable war 

v Highlands of Brazil 185 

in Paraguay. On my second visit to the palace the Emperor 
was good enough to show me his museum, in which there is a 
magnificent collection of minerals. He took especial delight 
in showing me the specimens of coal from the province of Rio 
Grande do Sul, which promise to be a source of great riches 
to the country if his schemes of facilitating the transportation 
can be carried out. At present, though the coal itself is close 
to the surface of the ground, there are so many transhipments 
necessary in bringing it to Eio that it is cheaper to bring it 
from England or the States. I have not the slightest know- 
ledge of mineralogy, but I blacked the ends of my fingers with 
a wise air, and agreed heartily with the Emperor's opinion, 
that if the precious stuff could be brought into consumption 
cheaply, it would be of more use to Brazil than all the 
diamonds of Diamantina. Then he showed me many of the 
most precious books in his library, some views of the San 
Francisco river, etc. 

The palace is not in a good situation ; but the Emperor 
passes a great part of the year at Petropolis, around which 
there are endless beauties. One spot there especially attracted 
me, where an old companion of Humboldt's had settled him- 
self in an unpretending cottage. He had planted all sorts of 
rare plants and palms around it, and the real virgin forest 
sloped down to it at the back, while a glorious view of blue 
mountains was seen from the front windows, with some few 
great forest giants left as foreground, their branches loaded 
with parasites and festooned with creeping plants. This little 
house was the highest inhabited house of the neighbourhood, 
the path up to it sufficiently steep to keep off ordinary morn- 
ing visitors, though I am told it is a favourite walk of the 
Emperor's, who found the old German naturalist a pleasanter 
companion than many in the world below. When I was 
there this old man was dying, and his pretty place would soon 
be a ruin. Already his treasures of moths, books, birds, and 
butterflies were half destroyed by mould and devouring ants ; 

1 86 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

even the bridge which crossed the cascade and the path up to 
his house were falling away. I never felt anything more sad. 

Petropolis seemed full of idle people and gossip, and it was 
thought rather shocking and dangerous for me to wander over 
the hills alone ; wild stories were told of runaway slaves, etc. 
I felt out of place there, and got more and more home-sick, 
but determined to have at least a glimpse of the Organ Moun- 
tains before I went. I was told the way was most difficult, 
and even dangerous; neither mules nor guide could be got. Still 
J[ persevered, and finally heard of a mason at Petropolis who 
knew the way and would like a change of air and a holiday, 
,but he could only spare four days. Mr. M. kindly lent him a 
J famous old mule, and sent it on the day before to San Antonio, 
where I was also to find a horse ; and, in spite of the persistent 
rain at Petropolis, I and the mason started by the Juiz de 
Fora coach at six o'clock, and were set down about sixteen 
miles on the road at a venda near a bridge, where we saddled 
our steeds and mounted, my small bag and paint-box being 
fastened to the crupper of my guide's mule. My horse was of 
the E-osinante order, very bony and old, with two great gaping 
wounds on her shoulders caused by the bites of vampire bats, 
into which the flies walked in the most distressing manner. 
After winding along two or three valleys, we began to mount 
in good earnest. The only danger on our path was from the 
hanging wreaths of bamboo, and the acacia called " cat's paw," 
which had been long untrimmed, and might easily do serious 
damage to the faces of unwary travellers. My guide used his 
long knife, and I met with no accident, and soon reached the 
top of the pass, having left all rain and humidity at Petro- 
polis. It was a curious view, and well worth some trouble to 
see ; but the " difficulties and dangers " we in vain searched 

We arrived at Theresopolis by two o'clock, went on for 
another two leagues, and put up at a quaint and lonely house 
on the sierra. The boulders there had fallen all round it; they 

v Highlands of Brazil 187 

propped it up, and seemed to rest on its roof, and the stables 
were built under one huge hanging boulder. Great trees and 
all sorts of rich vegetation grew over and round these big 
blocks of granite. Beyond all were the most splendid distant 
views of Rio Bay and its mountains, and over our heads 
strange obelisks of granite. It was a spot for an artist to 
spend a life in. 

Did I not paint % and wander and wonder at everything 1 
Every rock bore a botanical collection fit to furnish any hot- 
house in England. Then there was a real Italian vine pergola 
leading down through the banana trees to the spring, with 
picturesque figures continually fetching water from it, and 
troops of mules, goats, cows, and sheep always moving about ; 
for the grass had failed in most parts of the mountains this 
year, but was unusually abundant here. I found it hard to 
leave the next day, and lingered over my work till nearly^ 
noon, when a gentleman came down the hill leading his horse, 
and spoke to me about the view I was taking, then went on 
and spoke to my guide, arranging with him that as the inn of 
the place where we were to stop the night was bad, he should 
take me to his house, writing at the same time a few lines to 
his wife, to take with us and explain who we were. Who were 
we 1 ? And who was he 1 ? We were both ignorant on these 
subjects, but accepted his kind offer of hospitality in the frank 
spirit with which it was given, and which one only meets in 
remote places far from the cautious rules of civilisation, which 
believes every one till properly introduced to be a rogue. We 
descended the glorious road to Barrera (another spot for an artist 
to settle in), rested a few hours of the extreme heat of the 
day, and I worked at the view from the shady verandah. A 
mad river made its noisy way through great purple and gray 
boulders of granite from the strange group of mountains be- 
yond, which here seemed to open themselves out like the walls 
of an amphitheatre, the sharp points piercing the clouds which 
formed its roof, and the whole in a state of quivering blue heat 

1 88 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

most difficult to represent on paper, as the intense glare of 
the almost perpendicular sun's rays puzzled one. Was it all 
shade ? or all light ? Flies and tiny wasps with a taste for 
chemistry were anxious to ascertain what my colours were 
made of, and carried various fancy tints into my wet sky, pro- 
ducing effects that were startling but not artistic. The air 
was heavy, and there was every appearance of a coming storm, 
but none came. 

At last we reached the sea, stopping every now and then 
to chat at different roadside cottages, where my guide bought 
different refreshments for himself, as he was always hungry 
when travelling, he said. Sometimes he bought a paper of 
boiled prawns very large and pink, then oranges or sweet 
lemons, or a beautiful sort of cornucopia of dazzling white 
made of the thinnest paste of mandioca flour rolled out and 
baked ; it was a fit food for gods. 

The sky was still red when we reached the little town we 
were to stop at, and inquired for the address our friend had 
given us. His young wife would not let us in till she had held 
a long conversation with us from an upper window, which 
ended in a good deal of laughing on both sides, she thinking 
she could talk English, and I Portuguese, and each of us 
thinking the other talked her own native tongue. But when I 
was at last admitted she was most kind, and gave me her best 
apartment a cupboard inside her sitting-room. She walked 
up and down the room combing her beautiful " back hair," a 
mode of entertaining her guest which was certainly original. 
After that she and I passed an hour or two gossiping at the 
window, she constantly talking to friends in the street below, 
who, like her, had lately arranged their heads most becomingly, 
and stuck natural flowers behind their ears. She also sent out 
and bought some cups of freshly pressed sugar and rice made 
hot, which a man was crying in the street ; it was very good, 
and about the consistency of barley water. After a time her 
husband came home, and she left me to give him his supper, 

v Highlands of Brazil 189 

after which he came also to gossip at the window. I found 
he was the chief of the police of that province an educated 
man of good family. He was extremely curious to know why 
I was travelling alone, and painting. Did the Government 
pay my expenses ? I certainly could not pay them myself, I 
was too shabbily dressed for that ! I told him when I got 
home I hoped to paint a picture of the Organ Mountains, and 
to sell it for so much money that it would pay all my expenses ; 
then at last he understood what I travelled for, for is not 
money the end of all things ? 

A few more hours of swamp and a most roundabout road 
brought us to the foot of the Petropolis sierra, up which I 
rode, though in time for the train of passengers from Bio. It 
was such a glorious evening ; and while the poor animals were 
resting after their thirty long dusty scorching miles of road, I 
sat near some running water in the shade of a grand tree and 
enjoyed a rest also, where the mason brought me a tray of 
good coffee and bread, without any orders ; and for this one 
kind thought alone deserves to have his name recorded 
"Jose Luis Correa." He was as good a guide as could be 
wished for on such a journey, and had more than a common 
knowledge of plants and other things of the country, and I 
regretted much that I did not better understand his language 
to benefit by his information. 

In three days more I was steaming towards England. I 
gave the steward a commission to buy me little singing-birds 
at Bahia, and he bought nine ; they were all kept on the spare 
berth in my cabin, which went by the name of Bird-Cage Walk 
among the servants and children, with whom it was a favourite 
lounge. I gave most of the birds to my nieces at Clifton ; and 
when one died soon after, it was buried in a lozenge-box, and 
half a lozenge was put in the box " in case it should wake in 
the night and feel hungry." A little girl came on board at 
Pernambuco who had a great talent for taming all living things. 
She brought some large locusts which were devoted to her; they 

i go Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP, v 

came when she called, sat on her head or hand, and she made 
them pretend to be dead on her hand till she counted three, 
when they hopped away. It was very wonderful, considering 
the short lives of such creatures, how she had tamed them ; 
of course they died from want of proper food on board. A little 
boy had a marmoset which he kept in a cocoanut shell, and 
fed on milk ; poor little thing, it got very cold and shivered 
before we landed at Southampton on the 14th of September. 




THE winter after my return from Brazil I devoted to learning 
to etch on copper, Mr. Edwin Edwardes, who had illustrated 
the old inns of England, kindly giving me a few lessons. 
Friends seemed always accumulating round me and making life 
very enjoyable. I was called down to Netley to help to nurseT 
my cousin, Dudley North, who had returned from Ashantee 
with three wounds and much fever, though he always main- 
tained the savage who shot him was a gentleman, for he gave 
a yell first to warn him of the danger. He lived through it, 
thanks to the care of the doctors and the nursing of Mrs. 
Deeble, the lady-superintendent there, who sat up with him 
for fourteen nights. She was a wonderful woman, looking 
always as if she had nothing to do, though she seldom slept 
more than one hour of the twenty-four at that busy time. 
Every bed in the hospital was full, the field in front also 
covered with tents full of invalids, and more were constantly 
coming home. I stayed about six weeks, partly at Colonel 
Gordon's (the Governor), partly at a lodging over the post- 
office. When my work there was over I returned home and 
paid visits among my friends and relations in England, Ireland, 
and Scotland, going to the meeting of the British Association 
at Belfast among other things ; and after hearing Tyndall's 
wonderful opening address, I heard a sermon preached on it in 
a country church on the text, " It were better that man had 
never been born." 

192 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

The winter was an unusually cold one. After the experi- 
ences of the last two in Jamaica and Brazil I found it quite 
unbearable, so at last I determined to follow the sun to 
Teneriffe. M. E. and I started on New Year's day, 1875, in 
hard frost and snow, steaming from Liverpool in a wretched 
little steamer in unpleasant squally weather. 

On the llth we landed for a few hours in sunny Madeira. 
I had a cousin there with a sick husband, and in spite of the 
marvellous beauty of all the surroundings I pitied her for 
having such a number of hopeless invalids all round her. I 
heard coughs and groans on every side, and saw poor bloodless 
faces carried about in hammocks on men's shoulders covered 
with white drapery, and looking like corpses. The other mode 
of locomotion was in clumsy bullock-carts, with a driver hang- 
ing on downhill and pushing uphill, continually greasing the 
great wheels with bits of rag. The place was full of colour, the 
gardens full of bananas and many of the bright flowers I had 
seen in Jamaica, the sea deliciously clear and marvellously 
varied in tints, with rich brown lava rocks in all sorts of 
grotesque forms sprinkled in and out of it, hanging creepers 
festooning the cliffs from innumerable pretty villa -gardens 
on their tops, and splendidly-formed hills rising behind. At 
sunset that same evening we saw the top of the Peak on 
the golden horizon, and on the morning of the 13th we landed 
at Santa Cruz. 

We drove on the same day to Villa de Orotava, creeping 
slowly up the long zigzags leading to Laguna, where every 
one (who is anybody) goes to spend the hot summer months ; 
in the New Year's time it was quite deserted, and looked as if 
every other house was a defunct convent. All had a most 
magnificent yellow stone-crop on their roofs, just then in full 
beauty ; ferns too were on all the walls, with euphorbias and 
other prickly things. After passing Laguna, we came on a 
richer country, and soon to the famous view of the Peak, 
described so exquisitely by Humboldt; but, alas, the palms 


Teneriffe 193 

and other trees had been cleared away to make room for the 
ugly terraces of cacti, grown for the cochineal insect to feed 
on, and which did riot like the shade of other trees. Some of 
the terraces were apparently yielding crops of white paper 
bun-bags. On investigating I found they were white rags, 
which had been first spread over the trays of cochineal eggs, 
when the newly-hatched insect had crawled out and adhered 
to them ; they are pinned over the cactus leaves by means of 
the spines of another sort of cactus grown for the purpose. 
After a few days of sunshine the little insect gets hungry and 
fixes itself on the fleshy leaf ; then the rags are pulled off, 
washed, and put over another set of trays. The real cochineal 
cactus has had its spines so constantly pulled off by angry 
natives who object to having their clothes torn, that it sees 
no use in growing them any longer, and has hardly any. 
When I was in Teneriffe people were beginning to say that 
the gas -colours had taken all their trade away, and had 
begun to root the cactus up and plant tobacco instead but 
they could not re-grow the fine trees. These cactus crops had 
done another injury to the island besides that of causing it 
to lose its native trees. The lazy cultivators when replanting 
it, left the old plants to rot on the walls instead of burning 
them, thereby causing fever to rage in places where fever had 
never been before ; they were now planting eucalyptus-trees 
with a notion of driving it out. 

The roads were very bare, and the much-talked-of Peak 
with its snow cap was spoiled for beauty by the ugly straight 
line of the Hog's Back on this southern side. Nevertheless the 
long slant down to the deep blue sea was exceedingly beauti- 
ful, and a certain number of date-palms and dragon-trees, as 
well as the euphorbia and other fleshy plants, gave a peculiar 
character to the scene I have not seen elsewhere. 

We found there was a hotel (and not a very bad one either, in 
its own Spanish fashion), and we got possession of its huge ball- 
room, which was full of crockery and looking-glasses, and some 


1 94 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

hundred chairs all piled up on the top of one another. This 
room had glass doors, besides other rooms opening into it, but 
served to sleep in well enough ; and I determined to stay and 
make the best of it, for the climate and views were quite 
perfect. I did stay more than a month. M. stayed a fort- 
night, then went to the Smiths at Puerto, and home to 
England. The people at Orotava were most friendly, the 
gardens lovely. The nobles who owned them were of the very 
bluest blood of old Spain ; but not rich they seldom went out 
of the island, and had kept all their old habits and fashions. 
, The ladies walked about in mantillas, flirting their fans, and 
wore no other costume even at their evening receptions, merely 
adding some jewels, and flowers stuck most becomingly behind 
their ears. They had no education beyond what they got in 
some convent, but were thorough ladies. One old lady seemed 
to reign supreme amongst them the Marchesa della Florida. 
She was good enough to take me under her protection, and 
even asked me to come and stop in her house ; but I valued 
my time too much to try such an experiment. Dr. Hooker 
had given me a letter to the Swiss manager of the Botanic 
Gardens, who also kept a grocer's shop. He was very kind 
in taking me to see all the most lovely gardens. The famous 
- Dragon Tree, which Humboldt said was 4000 years old, had 
tumbled into a mere dust-heap, nothing but a few bits of bark 
remaining; but it had some very fine successors about the 
island, and some of them had curious air roots hanging from 
the upper branches near the trunk, which spread themselves 
gradually round the surface, till they recoated the poor tree, 
which had been continually bled to procure the dye called 
Dragon's Blood. When the good people found my hobby for 
painting strange plants, they sent me all kinds of beautiful 

After M. E. left, the landlady gave me a smaller room open- 
ing into the big room with a good view into the street, where 
I could live in peace and quiet, without fear of interruption, 


Teneriffe 195 

and they fed me there very kindly too. Any one who likes 
bread and chocolate can live well all over Spain ; I did not 
care if I got nothing else. My friend the gardener arranged 
with the farmer at the Barenca da Castro to take me in for 
three days ; so I took some bread and a pillow, mounted my 
donkey, and rode thither through lovely lanes, mounting over 
the high cliffs till I came to my destination an old manor- 
house on the edge of one of those curious lava cracks which 
run down to the edge of the sea, filled with large oaks, sweet 
bay-trees, and heath-trees thirty feet high. Half-way down was 
a stratum of limestone, from which a most delicious spring burst 
out. People came from all the dry hills round to fetch the water, 
and to wash and water their cattle. The ground was covered 
with sweet violets. There were green beds of water-cresses all 
about the sweet clear pools on the little theatre of green at the 
mouth of the cave, and then some pretty falls to the lava rocks 
on the beach some thousand feet below. People and animals 
were always coming and going, and were very picturesque. 
The men wore high top-boots, blankets gathered in round their 
necks, and huge Eubens hats. The women had bright-coloured 
shawls draped gracefully over their heads and shoulders, with 
red and black petticoats ; sometimes hats on the top of their 
shawl-covered heads. They were all most friendly. 

My quarters at the old house above were very primitive. 
A great barn-like room was given up to me, with heaps of 
potatoes and corn swept up into the corners of it. I had a 
stretcher-bed at one end, on which I got a very large allowance 
of good sleep. The cocks and hens roosted on the beams 
overhead and I heard my donkey and other beasts munching 
their food and snoring below. From the unglazed window I 
had a magnificent view of the Peak, which I could paint at my 
leisure at sunrise without disturbing any one. The family 
much enjoyed seeing me cook my supper and breakfast in my 
little etna morning and evening coffee, eggs, and soup ; soup, 
eggs, and coffee, alternately. I returned by a lower road, close 

196 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

to the edge of the sea, under cliffs covered with sedums, 
cinerarias, and other plants peculiar to the Canary Islands. 

I stopped a while at the Rambla da Castra, on the sea-shore, 
standing almost in the sea, surrounded by palms, bamboos, 
and great Caladium esculentum. It was a lovely spot, but 
too glaring. After this little excursion I remained quietly 
working in or about Orotava till the 17th of February, when 
I moved down to Mr. S.'s comfortable home at Puerto di 
Orotava. Mr. S. when I stayed with him had a second wife, 
a most lovable Scotchwoman. He was seventy years old, 
and talked quite calmly of taking me up the Peak, not 
minding fifteen hours on horseback; but the weather for- 
tunately remained too cool for such an attempt. I believe he 
knew every stone on the way, and had shown it to Piazzi 
Smyth and all the travellers one after the other. The latter 
gave me a letter to him. 

I had a room on the roof with a separate staircase down to 
the lovely garden, and learned to know every plant in that 
exquisite collection. There were myrtle-trees ten or twelve 
feet high, bougainvilleas running up cypress-trees (Mrs. S. 
used to complain of their untidiness), great white lancifolium 
lilies (or something like them), growing high as myself. The 
ground was white with fallen orange and lemon petals ; and 
the huge white cherokee roses covered a great arbour and 
tool-house with their magnificent flowers. I never smelt roses 
so sweet as those in that garden. Over all peeped the snowy 
point of the Peak, at sunrise and sunset most gorgeous, but 
even more dazzling in the moonlight. From the garden I 
could stroll up some wild hills of lava, where Mr. S. had 
allowed the natural vegetation of the island to have all its own 
way. Magnificent aloes, cactus, euphorbias, arums, cinerarias, 
sedums, heaths, and other peculiar plants were to be seen in 
their fullest beauty. Eucalyptus-trees had been planted on 
the top, and were doing well, with their bark hanging in rags 
and tatters about them. I scarcely ever went out without 


Teneriffe 197 

finding some new wonder to paint, lived a life of the most per- 
fect peace and happiness, and got strength every day with my 
kind friends. 

The town of Puerto was just below the house, and had once 
been a thriving place, some English merchants having settled 
there. Now only a few half-bred children remained, entirely 
Spanish in education and ways, though they talked their 
fathers' tongue after their fashion. I went off with a donkey- 
boy and a couple of donkeys for a week to Echod, all along 
the coast, sometimes high, sometimes low, with fresh views of 
the Peak up every crack. At Echod there is the best view of 
all ; and a few miles above that place are forests of the Canary 
pine, which is something like the Weymouth, with very fine 
needles, but drawn up into slender trees of one hundred or 
more feet high. Echod is a lovely old place, full of fine big 
houses, with exquisite views up and down ; but it rained most 
of the time. The Marchesa de la Florida had written to her 
cousin the Count of Sta. Lucia, who took me to see some fine 
coast-views, and insisted on walking arm-in-arm over ploughed 
fields and slippery pavements at an angle of forty-five degrees, 
much to my embarrassment. He was a regular Sir Charles 
Grandison of politeness. Some other grandees, with terribly 
long strings of names, were most hospitable, showed me their 
beautiful villas and gardens at Corronel and Gorachico, and 
even pressed me to stay. The latter place is built on a glacier 
of black lava, and the next eruption will probably send the 
whole town into the sea. It was one of the most frightful 
bits of volcanic scenery I ever saw. The day I was there was 
wintry and dark with storm-clouds ; the white waves ran in 
between the dark rocks, and sent up great jets of foam with 
an awful crashing and roaring. 

Santa Cruz, to which I at first took a dislike, I found full of 
beauty. Its gardens were lovely, and its merchants most hospit- 
able. I stayed there till the Ethiopia picked me up, on the 29th 
of April, with my friend Major Lanyon on board returning 

198 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

from the Gold Coast, where he had been filling the place of 
Colonial Secretary. 

I landed again at Madeira. There was a Mr. C. on board 
with some dozen strange birds and beasts, including great 
ostriches and marabouts who made nothing of swallowing pad- 
locks and door-keys. Major Lanyon also had a human curiosity 
in his charge the son of King Coffee of Ashantee, whom our 
Government was to educate. He was a good-natured, nicely- 
mannered boy. The missionaries had already taught him how 
to eat with knife and fork, etc. There was nothing savage 
about him. 

I got home on the 8th of May, and was soon in the full 
enjoyment of a London season among good friends, exhibitions, 
and concerts. On the 17th of July I went down to the most 
agreeable country house I know that of Mr. Higford Burr, at 
Aldermaston. Some people I had never met before, Mr. and 
Mrs. S., asked me where I was going next, and I said vaguely, 
" Japan." They said, " You had better start with us, for we 
are gomg there also, on the 5th of August " \ and, to their sur- 
prise, I said I would. All my friends said it was so nice that 
I was not going alone this time, particularly for that long 
Pacific voyage ! What a pleasant time I had at Aldermaston ! 
Mrs. Higford Burr was the very most charming hostess in the 
world, so alive and interested in every one's particular hobby, 
often knowing more about it than they did themselves, with 
that gentle, sympathetic manner which made even the dullest 
think they were themselves agreeable. She made every one 
feel at home. Naturally such a hostess was always sure of the 
most pleasant company in her house. Many a delightful walk 
I have had there under the great oaks and bracken (the latter 
nearly as tall as myself) with some of the best talkers in 
England. That time I was fool enough to slip on the polished 
oak floor, when running in for a cloak, and to sprain my ankle 
and knee. When I returned home I could scarcely move. 
Every one said I must " see a doctor." I was not in the habit 

vi Icebergs 199 

of doing such a thing. I knew nobody in particular to see ; 
but as my head had been full of etching lately, I thought I might 
as well consult the great etcher, Seymour Haden, as any one 
else. I went to him. He had gone away for a holiday ; but 
his young son gave me a bandage, and told me I had had a 
bad twist, that was all. (I thought I could say that as well as 
he.) Then another friend came, and insisted on taking me off 
to see a famous quack in Mayfair, who came in in his shirt- 
sleeves, and got a big skin of wash-leather with some sticky 
stuff on the soft side, which he stretched cleverly all over the 
calf of my leg, from knee to ankle, told me to leave it three 
days, then pull it off, wash it with sea-water, and put another 
on. He gave me a bundle of skins, and told me if I wanted 
more, I was to ask Mrs. C. in Japan. 

So on the 4th of August 1875 I went down to stay the 
night at Leasom Castle with Sir Edward and Lady Gust. The 
next day I went on board the Sarmatian at Liverpool, and 
found the S.s in the next cabin to myself ; and he very kindly 
handed me in a cup of tea every morning when he made his 
own ; for they carried every possible luxury, including canteen 
and box of books, and had made more journeys in less hours 
than any people living. We passed one or two hundred iceP 7 
bergs ; some of them were said to be as big as the rock of 
Gibraltar ; some of the smaller ones came too near to be 
agreeable. One night we had to tack about in a hurry, finally 
dropping anchor in the fog close to a huge cliff of ice. We had 
a most narrow escape, and how cold it was ! The view of 
those great ice-islands at sunset was very striking, some in 
deep shade, others lit up and sparkling in the sun's pink rays. 
Some had bridges and arches from one to the other, while 
others stood up alone like giant Memnons or steeples. We 
also saw many whales playing near the ship, not half so grace- 
fully as porpoises. 

The lion of the ship was Lord Houghton, who was very 
good company. Samuel Butler, the writer of Erewhon, was 

2OO Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

also a passenger. He was talkative and agreeable by fits and 
starts, and did not believe in anything orthodox; but was 
inveigled into playing the hymn tunes on Sunday (Lord 
Houghton standing up beside him and singing most devoutly). 
There was also a mighty deal of heavy leaven among the 
passengers men who looked like rich butchers and wool- 
collectors ; the women with odd rings on their forefingers. 

Fogs delayed us at the mouth of the St. Lawrence \ we ran 
aground and stayed there all night till the returning tide set 
us free, and brought us safely up to the shore opposite Quebec. 
We had a cold troublesome journey through the custom- 
house, where my travelling companions' luggage gave them 
considerable occupation ; the officers as usual did not even con- 
descend to open mine. " You're a-going to paint pictures of 
Japan, are you 1 Wall ! I wish you success ; I should like to 
be going along too," the head-man said. 

At Chicago we left the train for a night and lodged in a 
marble palace full of contrarieties mirrors, chandeliers, 
whole regiments of black waiters, scaffolds, paint-pots, blue 
velvet sofas, and general higgledy-piggledy. We saw all the 
usual sights of that gorgeously-slovenly, machine-made, and 
inflammable city, then rolled on to an older city which 
interested me far more that of the prairie-dogs. The pretty 
creatures were so accustomed to the trains then, that they did 
not even get up to see them pass, but basked in the sun on 
the tops of their houses by hundreds and winked at them ; 
some of the younger and more silly ones sat up like hares and 
shook their paws at us. All that long prairie country was 
fine ; there were hundreds of miles of sunflowers over it, and 
continual dust. After a day or two we went through a par,ti- 
cular kind of alkaline dust which rendered one's skin like 
sand-paper ; the natives never attempt to wash it off, and suffer 
less, we were told ; but it was difficult either to breathe or see 
unless one attempted it (in the moderate way Pullman cars 
allowed). The accommodation of those much -vaunted 

vi Across the States 201 

carriages was still open to improvement. The ventilation 
at night was most ill provided for. I slept on a shelf under 
Marie (Mrs. S.'s Swiss maid). If I opened the scrap of 
window next my face, I was blown away and smothered with 
dust ; if I shut it, I was stifled. I used to get up before the 
rest, and get my washing over as I best could in the airless 
little room at the end, with a stove almost red-hot and the 
guard asleep on its sofa. Except once, when we had food " on 
board" and a kitchen on wheels for twenty -four hours, we 
used to stop twice a day for a regular feed, every person 
having a dozen little hot dishes put round his plate in a semi- 
circle; and one must have been very dainty indeed if one 
could not find something to like amongst them. We also 
stopped long enough at the other stations to pick a few 
flowers; and the train always started again slowly, so that 
any stragglers could catch it up. Books, newspapers, and 
"goodies" were sold "on board." 

At Ongar we turned aside by a branch railway and went 
to Salt Lake, and had the luxury of baths and real beds for 
three nights. It was to me a most unattractive and unpictur- 
esque place. Mr. S. had a letter to Brigham Young, and 
took us to interview him ; horrid old wretch ! my hand felt 
dirty for a week after shaking hands with him. 

We passed along the sides of the great Salt Lake at sun- 
set ; its white edges looked really fine, backed by the purple 
hills, all so bare and dreary at other times. The next stage 
was in a horrible springless machine, holding an unlimited 
number inside and out, trusting to tight packing for keeping 
the passengers' bones unbroken by the jolting ; for the roads 
were never mended, and all springs had long since become 
paralysed. Mrs. S.'s Marie was soon sea-sick. " She would 
be set down at the first stopping- place and go back; she 
would not endure it. Could I imagine any man who had ever 
been over such a road taking a lady there ! " etc., with awful 
looks at poor jolted Mr. S. opposite. Mr. S. made a parlia- 

2O2 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

mentary speech to the honourable gentlemen outside, persuad- 
ing them to change places ; so they got in while the two ladies 
got out, leaving me to shake in peace the rest of the way. 
I had fourteen hours of it, combined with dust an inch thick 
all over everything. The next morning I got an old miner 
" guard " and a horse, left Clarks at six for the " Big Trees " 
of the Mariposa Grove, and had a long day's work among 

The whole road was beautiful, through the biggest trees of 
the fir kind I ever saw, till I saw " The Trees." All the world 
now knows their dimensions, so I need not repeat them ; but 
only those who have seen them know their rich red plush bark 
and the light green eclipse of feathery foliage above, and the 
giant trunks which swell enormously at the base, having no 
branches up to a third of their whole height. The little trees 
with wide base and tops made by shaving and narrowing the 
stem, which are to -be found in every child's Noah's Ark, are 
exact models of the sequoia proportions. There were about 
seven hundred in that one grove of Mariposa alone, and three 
other groves within a day or two of them. They stood out 
grandly against the other trees, which in themselves would be 
worth a journey to see sugar-pines, yellow-pines, and arbor 
/vitae, hung with golden lichen. The forest was full of strange 
trails of big bears and other wild animals. I was told that 
the bear-steps were probably those of " old Joe," who had been 
known " just about there " for the last twenty years, and was 
a kind of Mrs. 'Arris to travellers. I was shown many of 
those funny little perforated larders the woodpeckers made 
for the squirrels to put their acorns in. 

The descent into the Yosemite gave perhaps the very best 
general view of the valley ; so I got our driver, after he had 
rested his horses and dined, to give me a lift up the hill again 
as far as that view, and leave me to paint it. He told Colonel 
and Mrs. M., who were going on with him, that " I was one of 
the right sort. I neither cared for bears nor yet for Ingins," 


California 203 

and he absolutely refused to take a dollar from me when I 
offered it. But I had only two or three hours before dark. 
I could do nothing satisfactorily. The view was " very big/ 
but to my taste that was its chief merit. It was like a mag- 
nified Swiss valley, the gray granite cliffs looking as hard and 
inharmonious as Dolomites; they were shaped like them or 
like the Organ Mountains of Brazil, and even their great 
height (3000 feet of sheer precipice) was dwarfed by the 
enormous size of the pines on and about them. All the water- 
falls were dried up, and there was dust instead of flowers. The 
whole was as disagreeable as nature could be at that time of 
year. It was most tantalising to pass acres of azalea plants, and 
I made a vow to return in May in some future year, and stay 
a while there. The next day my friends were too tired to go 
beyond the verandah of the hotel ; so Marie and I mounted two 
very " sorry nags " and accompanied a large party of tourists 
all round the valley to the Mirror Lake (which might have 
been a bit of the Tyrol), then up ladders to " Snows," a kind 
of " Bel Alp " hotel, which must be quite divine in spring from 
the quantity of flowers and clear water. It was a hard day's 
work, and the S.s "did" the Yosemite far more comfortably, 
and perhaps as profitably, and decided they had had enough 
of it, and would go back to Clarks the next day. 

The same driver drove us, a most villainous-looking bandit ; 
but he was a real good fellow, and had taken a liking for me 
because " I cared for neither bears nor Ingins," and he gave 
me some rattlesnakes' tails and a great lump of bark from the 
big trees, looking like a brick of solid plush. His carriage 
broke down with the weight of Mrs. S.'s luggage (mere neces- 
saries ! the rest having gone on to 'Frisco and 20 to pay for 
extra). How the driver swore (and swearing was not of a 
mild sort in California), then he turned round quite gently to 
me : " Now don't you go for to take any of them lazy cattle 
of guides to * The Trees ' again ; you are going a long journey, 
and it's the dollars you want ; don't you waste them on such 

2O4 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

brutes. I'll tell Moore to give you a good old 'orse as I knows 
the ways of, and show you how to loose his girths, and you 
just stay and draw till you're tired, and tie 'im up and loosen 
'im, and then tighten 'im again, and come 'ome quiet ; and if 
you don't say nothing to nobody, nobody won't say nothing to 
you ; you'll save your dollars, and that's what you want." So 
I did say nothing to nobody, because I never saw anybody to 
say anything to all day after the S.s went. I had a long day's 
work in that lovely forest painting the huge tree called the 
Great Grisly, whose first side branch is as big as any trunk in 
Europe. My old horse was very quiet; but as there was 
little for him to eat besides dust, I divided my luncheon 
with him, and came home rather hungry. Even the scraggy 
pines round "Clarks" were 170 feet high, and it was nice 
wholesome quarters to rest in and work. After that I 
went down to 'Frisco and became No. 794 in the Occidental 

An old Norfolk play-fellow, E. Brereton, now an engineer 
with an American wife and child, had made the whole journey 
with us off and on from England ; he now looked me up, and 
was most kind in showing me the lions of the big new city 
the Liverpool of the West. There was a local exhibition 
going on, full of Californian works and products. The cabinet- 
work was neat, also the buttons and other small things cut 
from the great ear-shells of the Pacific, and in the market 
which we visited at the fashionable hour (9 P.M.) we saw 
magnificent grapes, apples, pears, peaches, tomatoes, egg-plants, 
and all sorts of vegetables in great abundance, as well as 
clams, oysters, crabs, and lobsters. There was a tearing wind, 
and the streets were not agreeable ; and as all the trees had 
been destroyed on the hills around, they had become scorched- 
up dust-heaps. The climate was most unpleasant. The city 
itself is a strange mixture of new Paris streets and Irish 
hovels, with its still stranger Chinese town in one corner, 
always amusing to fresh travellers from Europe. The hotel 


California 205 

was admirably managed, with lifts to every storey, as well as 
grand staircases. 

In the afternoon the consul called for me with Colonel and 
Mrs. M. (whom I had just seen in the Yosemite), and he 
drove us on the top of a pair of spidery wheels to Cliff 
House, to see the Islands of Sea-lions, or seals. Those rocky 
islands were some hundred yards from the balcony of the 
hotel, which had been built for the purpose of feeding and 
sheltering the cockneys of 'Frisco, who often spend a " happy 
day" in watching the crowds of sea-beasts through various 
telescopes which are fixed for the purpose. It is easy work 
and most enjoyable in the heat of the day, with the cool sea- 
breezes all round, coming across the great Pacific, with no 
land westward nearer than Japan. I thought if ever I had 
days to spare I should like to go and lodge at that hotel and 
draw there. The sea-lions came quite black and dripping out 
of the water, and climbed up the rock with a series of waddles 
and jerks to the very top, where they played or slept in the 
sun till they became dry and coloured like real lions. They 
kept up a perpetual roaring and happy murmuring sounds of 
different sorts ; but on the island near them few ventured to 
land. It was possessed by a variety of sea-birds of different 
long-legged sorts, as well as gulls. The American Government 
protects these creatures, and no boat is allowed to go near 
them, or any shooting practised. A kind of park has been 
laid out on the road to Cliff House, and there is a huge race- 
course for trotting gigs on the way, which is the fashionable 
amusement amongst the young men. Tamarisk, euphorbias, 
and aloes were the chief decorations of the park. 

The next day I returned and spent the day painting 
at Cliff House, and the day after that I started back to 
the " Summit Station," Colonel and Mrs. M. going with me as 
far as Sacramento, where there was a fair at which he hoped 
to see fine horses and cattle, but was disappointed. I con- 
tinued in the train, which slowly climbed its 8000 feet and 

2o6 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP, 

landed me at midnight at the top of the pass, in the midst of 
the Nevada Mountains, and I settled for a week in a very com- 
fortable railway-hotel. One could go ten miles on either side 
under cover of one long snow-shed, east and west. The trains 
only went through in the middle of the night, except a few 
wood-trains for short distances; there was no village, so it 
was a most quiet locality. My other window looked over the 
bright rocks and trees and mountain-tops, with a few small 
lakes here and there, like the top of some Swiss pass. The 
house was still well filled with San Francisco people doing 
" Vileggiatura." The food was excellent, popped corn and 
^ream being the thing for breakfast. Half-an-hour's climb 
took me to the highest point near, from which was a most 
magnificent view of the Donner Lake below, and all its sur- 
roundings. Of this I made two large sketches, taking out my 
luncheon, and spending the whole day on those wild beautiful 
hills, among the twisted old arbor vitae, larch, and pine trees, 
with the little chipmunks (squirrels) for company, often not 
bigger than large mice. The sunshine was magnificent; I 
could trace the long snow-galleries and tunnels of the railway, 
high along the projecting spurs of the mountains, into the far 
horizon. It was a most quiet enjoyable life, with few adven- 
tures beyond my cold tea being put into an unwashed Hervey- 
sauce bottle one morning. I took a good drink before discover- 
ing it, and did not like it, then sat down and laughed till the 
tears ran out of my eyes again that air made one feel so 

My landlord drove a drag, four-in-hand, down to Lake 
Tahoo most days, and at the end of the week took me on 
there, driving down the steep descent to Lake Donner. We 
went along the whole length of its clear shore to Truckee, 
then followed the lovely clear river to its source in the great 
Lake Tahoo, a most lovely spot with noble forests fringing its 
sides. There was another capital wooden hotel there, where I 
could work again in peace. Behind the house were noble 



California 207 

trees, fast yielding to the woodman's axe; huge logs were 
being dragged by enormous teams of oxen, all smothered 
in clouds of dust. They made fine foregrounds for the 
noble yellow pines and cypress-trees, with their golden lichen. 
The M.s picked me up there again, and after going round 
the lake in the little steamer we disembarked on the east 
side, and took a carriage with a driver who has been made 
famous by Mark Twain. We followed one long shoot of 
floating wood-logs for a mile or more, all tumbling over one 
another on the rushing water till one felt one must go too ; it 
would be impossible to stand over it and watch the moving 
mass without throwing oneself in. 

Two hours' rail at the end of this drive took us up the 
hills to Virginia City. The last half-hour of the ascent was\ 
through and over a continual succession of human beehives,, 
surrounding all kinds of extraordinary machinery and gigantic 
mole-hills. All the hills were entirely bare of tree or verdure ; 
nothing but salmon-coloured dust below and smoke above. 
Virginia City itself is just the surroundings of one big mine. 
There was gambling going on in every house ; only one man 
who did not gamble was to be found there, they said the 
canny Scotch manager of the mine. He showed us everything 
the next day, from the rough ore as it came up at the head of 
the mine to the great bricks and bars of pure silver taken out 
of the red-hot furnace by men whose work meant certain 
death to them, but who were never difficult to procure, from 
the enormous wages they got. The Colonel went down the 
mine while I sketched above ; then we returned down the hills 
to Carson City, supped, and walked about the streets, looking 
in at the windows and watching the eager faces of the gam- 
blers till midnight, when my friends went on east, I west, back 
to the Summit Hotel, which I reached at four in the morning. 
There were rough people in the train, but they were always 
good and civil to me, and gave me a couple of seats to myself. 
The landlord's little daughter took me the next day to see her 

208 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

lake, a lake that no one could find unless she showed the way, she 
said. She had a swing there, between two trees ; ari^l I tried 
to paint her, for she was a rare child, very beautiful, and not 
more than six years old. She knew all the birds' notes, and 
imitated them so well that the birds answered her, and she 
called up all kinds of pretty echoes for my entertainment. 

After a few days I left at four in the morning, descended 
to Stockton, and by another line to Milton, thence by stage to 
Murphy, which I did not reach till nine at night in the dark. 
My driver was a very peculiar character. Every one called him 
" the Colonel," and chaffed him, but he never said a word. I 
asked him some questions, but I only got grunts in return. He 
dropped letters into all sorts of odd post-receptacles hollow 
trees and baskets slung to branches in lonely places ; and so 
we went on to our journey's end. When, after washing some 
of the dust off my face and hands, I came down to have some 
supper, behold, " the Colonel " also appeared in a white waist- 
coat and dress coat, the very essence of conversational polite- 
ness ! The landlord and his daughter, who waited, treated 
him with every respect. He ordered them about as if he were 
a very great man, told me all sorts of interesting things about 
ythe country, and volunteered to get me a giant trap-door 
spider's nest before I returned. 

The next morning I drove on to Calaveras Grove, found 
myself the last guest of the season in the comfortable hotel 
under the big trees, and stayed there a week. That was indeed 
luxury, to be able to stroll under them at sunrise and sunset 
without any delay or trouble. A stag with great branching 
horns was my only companion ; he had a bell round his neck, 
and used generally to live in front of the house, but liked 
human company; and when I appeared with my painting 
things he would get up and conduct me gravely to my point 
and see me well settled at work, then scamper off, coming 
back every now and then to sniff at my colours. One of my 
first subjects was the great ghost of a tree which had had a 


California 209 

third of its bark stripped off and set up in the Crystal Palace ; 
the scaffolds were still hanging to its bleached sides, and it 
looked very odd between the living trunks of red plush on 
either side. The sugar-pines were almost as large, and even 
more beautiful than the sequoias, their cones often a foot 
long, and so heavy that they weighed down the ends of the 
branches, making the trees look like Chinese pagodas in shape. 
They are called sugar-pines from the white sweet gum which 
exudes from the bark, and drops on the ground like lumps of 
brown sugar ; it is much eaten by the Indians. The cones of 
the " Big Trees " were small in proportion. About six miles 
from the Calaveras Grove was another with 1300 big trees in it. 
I rode there one day on an old cart-horse, and found that one 
hollow tree was used as a house by an old trapper. He was 
out, but his dogs strongly protested against any entrance in 
his absence. On a tree near were a quantity of rat and other 
skins. I was told that he had probably eaten the animals, and 
was not over-particular as to how he lived. He had been there 
three years, cut sticks and nick-nacks of "Big Tree" wood 
to sell, then, when he had made a little money, he would have 
a regular drinking-bout and drink it all up. My guide to 
those trees was an Alsatian who had left his country to avoid 
the Prussian conscription ; he said many of his friends had 
run away for the same purpose to America, and never meant 
to go home to do soldiering for the Germans. 

My time was up, and I had to go back to civilised life. At 
Murphy I heard a thump on my door at four o'clock, and 
" the Colonel's " voice shouted out the hour ; and while I was 
swallowing my coffee downstairs, I heard his voice outside in 
the street : " What, you there, Jim ? " " Yes, I heard the 
lady was a-going down the valley ; I thought I should like to 
come and see her off comfortable." Though this was said by 
the most ragged specimen of a live scarecrow I ever saw, I 
felt nattered by being particularised by the definite article and 
so bracketed with "the trees" and "the valley," the two 

VOL. I p 

2io Recollections of a Happy Life , CHAP. 

greatest things Jim knew. The Colonel said nothing, but he 
took his carriage and two horses short cuts over the country, 
so as to avoid the road as much as possible, driving between two 
trees with not an inch to spare on either side, and making his 
horses go on each side of some tree stump only an inch lower 
than the floor of the carriage, then turning to me with a grunt 
of satisfaction. So I thought I would talk though he wouldn't, 
and told him how the Stockton railway-people had objected to 
giving me checks for my baggage because, they said, " it was too 
small and too heavy to hold wearing-apparel, and they only 
checked wearing-apparel." I asked him if he could check them 
straight to 'Frisco. At this he threw off silence and became ex- 
cited : " Oh, they was nasty, was they 1 Like 'em, damn'm. 
You just give me your check, don't you say nothing; I'll settle 
'em, I will; they was nasty, was they? like 'em;" and he con- 
tinued this at intervals till we reached Milton, when he put me 
into a carriage, then stalked off after the luggage, handed me 
in the checks to San Francisco just as the train was going, 
stalked off again, and I heard the same refrain fading in the 
far distance : " They was nasty, was they ? like 'em, d 'em." 

I saw a good many Indians about the country at different 
times and in different places. They were the lowest of low 
types of humanity. The Eepublic allows them just money 
enough to drink themselves to death easily on, and they do 
that, and nothing else. They collected acorns in the summer, 
and buried them in the ground by way of storing them ; then 
they made stones hot in the fire, dropped the acorns on them, 
and covered them over with earth, which took the bitter out 
of them and made them not bad. This was, I believe, the 
principal food that these poor wrecks lived on. 

I had met at Lake Tahoo an old lady, Mrs. E., and her 
daughter, who invited me to go and see them near San 
Eafael, on the north of the harbour of San Francisco, which 
is like an inland sea, the Golden Gates at its mouth not being 
half a mile broad. Ferry-boats go across in all directions, 


California 2 1 1 

some of them floating palaces, some humble market steamers. 
The city itself is built on a sandbank close to the sea and the 
Golden Gate. The little ferry for San Eafael gave me fine 
views of the harbour as it went along close to the north-west 
shore, where I could see the sea-lions playing on the rocks in 
abundance. Then I took the railroad and went northward, 
till I reached the station I had been told to make for. It was 
a perfectly isolated building, and I asked the guard for Mrs. 
R's. " Wall, do you mean the young or the old un ? The 
old un ? Then you just be spry, run and catch up the train 
again, and ask the guard to set you down at the old un's 
gate." Which I did, and in ten minutes more was " set down " 
at an avenue of deodaras, walked up to a pretty little country- 
house, and had a warm welcome from a very dear old Scotch 
lady and her daughter. Her husband had been one of the 
first settlers in California. She had no wish to return to her 
native land, and lived much the same sort of life old ladies live 
in the country at home. 

I was very anxious to see some of the red-wood forests. 
They had been so destroyed that it was not easy to get to 
them, but the village doctor gave me a letter of introduction 
to the head woodman of an estate, some two or three hours up 
the northern line of rail, who took me to his house to sleep. 
It was only a small hut of logs, but they had a spare room, 
and made me very welcome. The wife was a capital woman. 
She gave us a wonderful supper of eggs, ham, cakes, apple- 
tart and cheese (together), and good tea. Her children were 
pictures of health. She came from New England, and com- 
plained of the dulness, but otherwise was well off. The red- 
wood trees are all about those hills, and are more like silver-fir 
than the other sequoias. My host took me some miles up a 
side valley to see some which were fifteen feet in diameter, and 
nearly 300 feet high. They were gradually sawing them up 
for firewood, and the tree would soon be extinct. Its timber 
is so hard that it sinks in water, and no worm can eat it there. 

212 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

It is invaluable for many purposes, and it broke one's heart to 
think of man, the civiliser, wasting treasures in a few years to 
which savages and animals had done no harm for centuries. 
I settled myself to sketch near a " bear's bath," hoping to see 
the big beast come and wash himself, but he didn't. I saw 
two pretty little deer and numbers of squirrels and birds, 
then walked back, and, after more apple-tart and cheese, was 
put on the engine of a wood train, as the passenger train had 
gone by some hours before. My engine was driven by a very 
intelligent young man, who had gone on an exploring expedi- 
tion once over the Yellowstone country, and told me much 
about it. I had a very good time on that fire-eating beast, the 
engine. What a lot of wood it consumed while pulling up 
that steep ascent ! After that we let the fire go out, and 
descended by our own weight alone. We stopped very often, 
and it was late before I got back to Mrs. R's. When I tried 
to slip a couple of dollars into the engineer's hands, he coolly 
opened my bag and put them inside. " Just you keep them 
things till you want 'em, and shake hands again to show you 
don't mind my saying so," he said ; " the talk he had had with 
me had done him real good, and he didn't want pay." 

On the 16th of October I took possession of a splendid, 
large, airy cabin in the Oceanic, one of the finest steamers afloat, 
fitted up in the most luxurious way, with an open fireplace in 
a corner of the great saloon, which we were very glad of after 
the first week, as we went by the northern route, which was 
too cool for pleasure. We also had a superabundance of head- 
winds, and did not get on as fast as our captain wished. I 
used occasionally to think that we had more dead Chinamen 
\ on board than was altogether agreeable to our noses, every ship 
being obliged to take a certain number of these strange 
people's bodies back to their beloved fatherland. All the 
waiters belonged to the same nation, and everything was well 
managed. Quite a cosy party gathered round the English fire- 
place, one lively little lady, in the tightest of dresses and 


Japan 213 

highest of heeled boots, being the life and pet of every one. 
She made toffee and sang songs, took fits of hysterics, and was 
continually entertaining the party in some way or other. At 
the end of the voyage a huge bouquet was cut out by the cook, 
of turnips and carrots framed in the leaves of a large cabbage, 
with its stalk tied up in white frilled paper ; and the captain 
presented it on his knees with a speech learned by heart, as a 
testimony of gratitude from all of us. Three weeks without\ 
seeing land at all is a long time, and latterly I suffered much 
from an attack of my old pain, brought on by the cold. 

We jumped in one day from the 28th to the 30th of 
October, and at daylight on the 7th of November found our- 
selves within sight of Fujiyama. I watched the sun rise out 
of the sea and redden its top, as I have seen so well repre- 
sented on so many hand-screens and tea-trays. The mountain 
is a much steeper cone than Teneriffe or Etna, but has about 
the same quantity of snow on it. The coast is beautifully 
varied with ins and outs, islands and rocks, the cliffs every- 
where fringed with trees and higher than I expected to see 
them, the water of the clearest aquamarine colour. It was a 
real sight to see the boats which surrounded us from all sides 
filled with tiny men in the oddest dresses, some looking like 
the straw umbrellas they put over beehives, some in strange 
stripes and checks, some in no clothes at all, or next to none, 
but all good-humoured and sensible, with their funny tufts of 
back-hair turned over their bald crowns, like clowns in panto- 
mimes, and all their ways of doing things so unlike the ways 
of the rest of the world. A boat's crew rowing or pushing, 
not together, but one man forward and the next back, with a 
jerky yet graceful movement, and curious subdued puffs and 
grunts which are not disagreeable or inharmonious to hear, 
though reminding one of small steam-engines hupp, hupp, 
hupp, hupp, I can hear it still going in my head. Some of my 
ship friends landed with me. We drove out into the country, and 
took funny cups of yellow tea in a bamboo tea-house, with five 

214 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

pretty girls rather over four feet high, in chignons with huge 
pins, blackened teeth, and no eyelashes, laughing at us all the 
while. We saw the sunset on the white cliffs of Mississippi 
Bay, and all the funny little people manuring and watering 
their tea-gardens and cabbages. 

The next morning I saw my friends off. The big ship de- 
parted, and I returned to the hotel at Yokohama a sort of mon- 
grel establishment, with neither the cleanliness of Japanese nor 
the comforts of English life. Mrs. 0. soon found me out, and 
instead of my wanting more of my quack's clever plasters, I 
gave her the rest of my own supply, as my sprain had long 
ago recovered itself. As Sir Harry and Lady Parkes were 
said to be soon going away on an expedition round the coast, I 
started to pay my respects to them at eight in the morning. 
The railway went alongside of the famous Tokado road much 
of the way to Yedo, and was always full of interest. The rice 
and millet harvest was then going on, and the tiny sheaves 
were a sight to see. They piled them up against the trees 
and fences in the most neat and clever way, some of the 
small fan -leaved palm-trees looking as if they had straw 
petticoats on. There was much variety in the foliage ; many 
of the trees were turning the richest colours, deep purple 
maples and lemon -coloured maiden -hair trees (Salisburia), with 
trunks a yard in diameter. The small kind of Virginian 
creeper (Ampelopsis) was running up all the trees. These 
seemed generally dwarfed, except round the temples, which 
were marked all over the country by fine groves of camphor, 
cryptomeria, cedars, and pine-trees, as well as a small variety 
of bamboo. The little houses were excessively neat, and had 
beds of lilies growing on their roofs. Every single dwelling 
was a picture, exquisitely finished and ornamented, though all 
on such a miniature scale. Many of the town houses were 
built of black mud, which was fireproof, and looked like 
polished black marble, the shutters and doors being made to 
fit close with the greatest precision and security. 


Japan 215 

At the last station one of the Japanese ministers got into 
our carriage in the costume of a perfect English gentleman, 
chimney-pot hat included. He invited me to come and see 
his wife at his country-house, and at Yedo packed Miss C. 
and myself into two jinrickshas, a kind of grown-up perambu- 
lator, the outside painted all over with marvellous histories 
and dragons (like scenes out of the Eevelation). They had 
men to drag them with all sorts of devices stamped on their 
backs, and long hanging sleeves. They went at a trot, far 
faster than English cabs, and answered to the hansoms of 
London, but were cheaper. So we trotted off to the Tombs of 
the Shoguns, most picturesque temples, highly coloured and 
gilded, half buried in noble trees, under a long low ridge or 
cliff. We left our cabs, and wandered about amongst them 
attended by a priest, a wretched mortal who would have sold 
even Buddha himself for a few cents if he dared run the risk of 
being found out. We then mounted the ridge above, and 
went to a famous tea-garden on the site of an old temple, with 
grand views over the city and sea, where we had tiny cups 
(without handles) full of yellow sugarless tea, ate all sorts of 
delicate cakes made out of rice and bean flour, finishing up 
with cherry-flower tea, which is made by pouring boiling 
water on dried blossoms and buds of the cherry-tree. The 
smell was delicious, the taste only fit for fairies, and very hard 
for big mortal tongues to discover. The tiny girls who served 
us were very pretty, and merry over our gigantic and clumsy 
ways. I felt quite Brobdingnagian in Japan. 

We descended by a hundred steps, and were trotted on 
again and entered the Mikado's domain, round the outer wall 
of which ran a moat full of lotus lilies (Nelumbium\ not what 
we in England call lotus, but the real Indian lily with its tulip- 
like pink flowers and flat, high-stemmed leaves. They were 
then in seed, and the seed is eaten by all the Pacific natives. 
Thousands of wild-fowl were swimming among the plants. I 
just missed seeing the Mikado by three minutes, his English 

216 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

brougham passing out of the gates just before we reached 
them, and though my biped took to galloping, we could not 
catch him up. He was surrounded by a company of cavalry 
in semi-European dress. 

The English Legation was very new and very ugly, with 
many rare and beautiful Japanese and Chinese things in it, 
but the master and mistress of the house so genuine in their 
kindness and hospitalities, that one forgot the ugly shell. 
They kindly offered to take me with them in the Government 
steamers to inspect lighthouses all round the coast, thus giving 
me opportunities of seeing parts of the islands never visited 
by Europeans, taking a month or more to do it in. It was a 
great chance, but alas ! that same night, on my return, I had a 
terrible attack of pain, so fearful that I sent for an American 
doctor, who injected morphia into my arm, and put me to 
sleep for twenty-four hours. The people in the hotel thought 
I was dead, and when I woke I was too weak to think of 
starting on any expedition for some time. My room was 
sunny, with a window from which I could see the river and 
bridge close by, continually crowded with people, who looked 
as if they had walked out of a fairy-tale, and a beautiful hill 
of trees and quaint houses on the other side. The climate in 
November was colder than suited me, out of doors. The 
camellia-trees were covered with bloom some twelve or twenty 
feet high, and chrysanthemums were in abundance in all the 
gardens. Mrs. 0. sent down her " boy " with another about 
sixty who " speakit English a leetle," and wanted to be my 
" boy." His name was Tungake. As I heard no ill of him I 
engaged him, and whenever I looked at him he put his hands 
on his knees and slid them down to his ankles, and grinned. 
He was very useless, and anxious to make little percentages 
out of every bargain ; but the language was so impossible to 
make anything of in a short time, that I could not have done 
without some such attendant. 

After a few days' quiet, I started in the steamer for Kobe*, 


Japan 217 

another of the European settlements of Japan a pretty place 
on a quiet bay of the sea, with high hills behind it, and 
an interesting temple, at the entrance of which was a shed 
with a white horse in it of a peculiar breed, with blue eyes 
and pink nose, and hoofs turned up from want of exercise. 
This horse was kept in case God came down and wanted a 
ride. Plates of beans are put on a table near, with which 
pious people feed the horse as they pass in, dropping some 
money into a box at the same time to pay for them. A stuffed 
horse is kept in another shed close by, to be ready, in case the 
holy beast should die, to fill his place, and not disappoint the 
equestrian Deity. The entrance-arch of that temple was fes- 
tooned with wistaria, the whole being shaded by a monstrous 
camphor-tree and cryptomerias. There was also a candle-tree 
loaded with yellow berries, with tufts of scarlet-leaved sumach 
grafted on it for ornament. Further on there was a winding 
road leading high into the hills, with some beautiful cascades 
and temples, and plenty of tempting little tea-houses at every 
beautiful point of view. Many had miniature gardens on 
tables in front, with dwarfed pine-trees under a foot high, 
perhaps fifty years old, rockwork, bridges, lakes, fountains, 
and rivers everything in proportion, and the whole covering 
a space of not more than a yard square ! The people seemed 
pleased to have them admired, and brought out their tiny cups 
of yellow tea, without seeming to expect pay for them. 

Kobe was a very sociable place. Lady Parkes was not sorry 
to make me an excuse for escaping its heavy luncheons and 
dinners, and we started by rail for Osaka, where we took 
jinrickshas, with a tandem running in front, and trotted about 
ten miles to the valley of Minbo, famous for its maples. The 
hills were perfectly on fire with its different tints of red, 
crimson, scarlet, and every shade of carnation, even the 
different purples. We left our jinrickshas at the beginning of 
the valley, walked up by a winding path through the trees, 
with little chapels on all the most picturesque points of the 

2 1 8 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

road (as they have in Roman Catholic countries of Europe). 
Picturesque gateways, temples, and steps were hidden among 
these gorgeous trees, while peeps of the hills and distant plain 
were seen through them at every turn. Our luncheon was 
spread out in the priests' parlour. I spent a vast quantity of 
madder and carmine in trying to imitate that which could not 
be imitated, after which we all returned to Osaka. 

Lady Parkes and her two A.D.C.S went back to endure a 
state dinner at Kobe', while I made my way to the inn (kept 
by a Frenchman), appointing to meet Sir Harry and his party 
at the railway at nine the next morning. I started first from 
end to end of that vast city in order to pay a visit to Mr. 
Frank Dillon, the artist, who was staying with his son at the 
Mint in a regular English-looking house. I had no idea of the 
distances, and had but little time to spend on my visit ; only a 
most bewildering rush through the streets, my frantic biped 
howling and shouting all the way, and flinging off his drapery 
till he appeared in a complete suit of tattooing and nothing 
else, one great serpent winding round his right leg, round his 
body, and down his left arm to the hand, on the back of which 
its head was painted. The Osaka streets were crowded with 
people, and the shops were full of things I longed to examine. 
We passed over many bridges, and the rivers below seemed as 
full of life as the land was. 

We started with our luggage in fifteen jinrickshas, with 
two men in each, one in the shafts and one running tandem in 
front. They trotted over thirty miles that day. As they got 
heated they peeled off their draperies and flung them into our 
carriages, leaving nothing on but a bit of rag from the waist, 
and a very decent allowance of tattooing all over. They never 
got in the least tired, but did the last part of the way up the 
High Street of Kioto at a gallop after nearly seven hours of 
hard running. The road was generally very narrow ; the 
bridges, placed at right angles to it, rather steep up and down 
and without parapets, were very disturbing to one's nerves, as 


Japan 219 

the men never broke their pace, but swung one on and across 
and round again in one even jog. First went the ubiquitous 
landlord of the Kioto hotel, then Lady P., then myself, Sir 
Harry, young L., Mr. G-., and Mr. A. (the great Japanese 
scholar), then the Chinese valet and Tungake, and six more 
jinrickshas of luggage. "Wild yells were given at every sharp 
turn and bad bit of road or steep bridge by No. 1, and echoed 
by the rest of the men. One of them, with highly-illuminated 
legs in the rarest mediaeval style, ran backwards and forwards 
like a dog, keeping the line straight. We passed through the 
richest cultivation rice, tea, buckwheat, cotton, mulberries, 
bamboos, camellias twenty feet high, full of single pink and 
white blossoms. Oranges, persimmons, and Japan medlars 
seemed the common fruits. The little houses were models of 
neatness, with their bamboo frames, paper windows, and little 
stacks of rice straw piled round them as extra padding to keep 
out cold. Everything was arranged daintily and prettily. 
Mats were spread on the ground in front of the houses, with 
rice drying on them ; and every now and then a group of noble 
trees showed us where some temple was hidden. The place 
where we stopped for our half-hour of rest was on a bend of 
the great river, and the rooms of the tea-house were supported 
on poles over the water, so that we could watch the loaded 
barges going up and down it. 

Before dusk we were in the long suburbs of the old capital 
of the Tycoon. Our men went faster and faster, till they 
nearly galloped us up the long High Street and steep ascent 
to the hotel ; and soon after the Governor of Kioto (in cordu- 
roys and shooting- jacket, and about four and a half feet high) 
appeared to pay his respects to Sir Harry and beg us all to go 
and dine with him. His Excellency begged to be excused, but 
promised to have luncheon with him the next day at a tea- 
house the other side of the valley, for the Governor was 
starting on an official journey, and that would be on his way. 
His official interpreter also came to pay his respects a gentle- 

22O Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

man who spoke good English and was our guide during the 
days the Ambassador stayed. He promised to be my " Pro- 
tector and Pass " when Sir Harry left, which nearly set me 
laughing most uncivilly, the little man being quite Liliputian, 
and much embarrassed with a European beard and moustache. 
It was also " the thing " not only to speak indistinctly but to 
put the hand before your mouth while doing it. The bows of 
ceremony were endless. Whenever Sir Harry looked at a 
Japanese he bent double, with the hands sliding down from 
knees to ankles, like machines. We worked hard next day, and 
saw many wonderful temples and palaces all of wood, with 
a beautiful concave curve in their overhanging roofs. Inside 
they were richly gilded and painted, with pine-trees, storks, 
flowers, and people, on a gold ground. The temples were full 
of exquisite bronzes, china, and fresh flowers. 

We drove out to the Governor's luncheon party at the tea- 
house, which had one side of the room quite open towards a 
pretty garden and a clear view. On the table were vases of 
chrysanthemums, tied on all the way up sticks a yard high, so 
as to show all the flowers and hide the stalks. The ornaments 
were of rare old Satsuma porcelain ; the food which came from 
our hotel, being of the knife-and-fork order, not interesting. 
After luncheon we took leave of the Governor and pulled up 
the river, getting out where the valley narrowed to walk along 
its banks. I saw the leaves of Primula, sinensis and ferns, but 
there were few flowers at that season. We also saw many 
lovely kingfishers. 

We all went in a string of jinrickshas to the lake of Biwa, 
going through a long street full of china -shops, where the 
modern cream-coloured porcelain was exhibited which is sold 
in Europe as Satsuma. The paintings of birds, insects, and 
flowers on it are exquisite, though it is extremely cheap. We 
met fishermen trotting along with great bundles of fish slung 
on the ends of bamboos over their shoulders, and fruit-carriers 
with brightly-polished orange persimmons, making the real 


Japan 221 

oranges near them look quite dull. We climbed up a steep 
ascent and through a mountain gorge to visit several groups of 
fine temples in magnificent groves of cryptomerias, one of 
them being built like a Chinese pagoda. All had delicious 
views of the great blue lake of Biwa, with the town of Otsu 
spread out like a map on its shores. Close to the water's edge 
was a huge pine-tree, its branches trained from childhood so 
much in the way it should go, that the top of it resembled a 
bed of well-clipped turf. This tree shaded a quarter of an 
acre of ground. 

We went on along the edge of the lake to its southern 
corner, where the river Yodo flows out, crossed by two 
really magnificent bridges divided by an island, over which 
the great Tokaido road is taken, turned up the hill-side 
between strange gates and figures, then up magnificent stone 
steps to the great temple of Isbyama, one of the most holy 
in Japan. The buildings, though less ornamented, were 
more elegant than most of the temples I had seen ; they were 
supposed to be of unknown age. Prosy, realistic travellers 
put them down as having been built in the twelfth century, 
which is no great age after all. The rocks were piled about 
and planted, as were the flowers and shrubs, with infinite 
taste and care, the views everywhere most lovely. Below the 
temples were the houses for pilgrims. The next day Sir" 
Harry and Lady Parkes and their suite departed, leaving me 
in sole possession, with a special order from the Mikado to 
sketch for three months as much as I liked in Kioto, provided 
I did not scribble on the public monuments or try to convert 
the people ; for it was still a closed place to Europeans. 

Sir Harry himself had been nearly murdered on his last 
visit there, and Sir Kutherford Alcock was never even allowed 
to enter. But I was perfectly safe all alone, and comfortable 
too, in the old temple building some centuries old, which had 
been turned into an hotel for Europeans, with the addition of 
a few chairs and tables. It was kept by a Japanese named 

222 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

Julei, who was always dressing himself up in native or European 
costumes, the latter being of a monstrous plaid pattern, with 
a prodigious watch-chain and breast-pin. He spoke a little 
English and kept a French cook. My room was made of 
paper, with sliding-panels all round, two sides opening to the 
frosty air and balcony, the other two only going up about 
seven feet, leaving abundant ventilation between them and the 
one great roof of the whole house, with the advantage of hear- 
ing all my neighbours' conversation beyond. I had a pan of 
lighted charcoal on a chair to warm me, and two quilted cotton 
counterpanes on the bare floor to sleep between. When I 
complained of cold, they brought me in gorgeous folding- 
screens, and made quite a labyrinth around me, all painted 
with storks, cherry-blossom, bamboo, and all sorts of lovely 
things, to keep the draughts out. The worst of my quarters 
was that I could not see through the paper windows to paint 
without opening them and letting in the half-frozen air or 
damp rain ; but I much preferred my quiet life in Kioto 
among the purely Japanese people and picturesque buildings, 
to that in one of the European settlements. 

One of the screens in my room was especially beautiful. It 
had a gold ground with red and white pinks, and pink and 
white acacia painted in the most lovely curves on it, as well 
as two kingfishers and a stork. There was also most fascinat- 
ing crockery. One large creamy and crackled vase of modern 
Satsuma had beetles, grasshoppers, mantis, and moths carry- 
ing flowers, drawing a coach, holding mushrooms as umbrellas, 
etc., as well as lovely borderings of flowers and leaves. In 
that vase were chrysanthemums of different colours, tied on 
an invisible bamboo stick, so that the bouquet was a yard and 
a half high. From my windows, when I pushed back the paper 
sliding shutter, I saw a most exquisite view (for the house 
was perched up high on the side of the hill, with the most 
lovely groves and temples all over it), and below the great 
city of over 200,000 inhabitants. Nearly all the houses were 


Japan 223 

one-storeyed, and great high temple-roofs rose among them like 
Gulliver amongst the Liliputians. Beyond the city were beauti- 
ful purple hills with tops sprinkled with fresh snow. A most 
eccentric garden was in the immediate foreground and all j 
round the house. The top of one of the favourite trained pine- 
trees came up like a terrace of flat turf to the level of the 
balcony ; it looked so solid that I could almost have walked 
over it. Groups of gray boulders, and small clipped azaleas, 
heaths, and camellias, with many other flowers and small tufts 
of pampas-grass and bamboo, filled the rest of the garden, 
varied by little miniature lakes and canals. The drawback to 
me was the cold, which was intense at night. The charcoal 
pans (most classically shaped) were a poor substitute for fires, 
but the ventilation and draughts of the rooms were so great 
that one was in no risk of suffocation from the fumes. 

There were six Europeans in Kioto including myself a 
German engineer and his sub, a clever Prussian doctor, and a 
lady who was paid by the Mikado to teach forty Japanese 
girls Lindley Murray and the English language (!), with her 
husband, who was a sporting character. 

The great temples of Nishihongwangi belonged to a set of 
reformed Buddhists. One of them, who called himself the 
" Canon of the Cathedral," had been two years in England, 
and spoke our language remarkably well. He was really a 
most charming person, and gave me much interesting talk 
about his religion while I sketched. He called it the Protest- 
antism of Japan, and it seemed as pure and simple as a 
religion could be. He said he believed in an invisible and 
powerful God, the Giver of good, but in nothing else not even 
the sun or the moon, they were both made by that same God. 
His priests (including himself) married, and drank wine. He 
had been to hear all sects preach in England, and thought the 
Unitarian most like his own. There were no sort of idols in 
his temple. He introduced me to many old priests in gorgeous 
robes, who did not look as full of brains as he did. He had 

224 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

a table brought out beside me with tea and cake, and a pan 
of charcoal to warm my hands over, and took the greatest 
interest in my work. He gave me two of the usual conven- 
tional drawings of a woman and a piece of bamboo, done by 
his little daughter. The mile of street which led me home 
was one succession of fascinating shops. I never passed 
through any of those streets without picking up some beauti- 
ful little "curios." The hill behind the hotel was covered 
with temples, tombs, and bells, some of them very large. The 
great bell of the Cheone was eighteen feet in height, and made 
a fine subject, surrounded as it was by trees dressed in their 
autumn colours. Whenever any one felt devout, he used to 
go and strike one of those bells, by means of a kind of weighted 
battering-ram fastened to the scaffold which supported the 
bell (for they are generally hung in buildings by themselves). 
Through all the dark hours of the night these devout fits seemed 
to seize people, and did not improve the sleep of others on 
that hill of temples. 

Horses were rare sights in Kioto. I saw only one man 
riding. His horse had its tail in a blue bag, tied up with red 
tassels, its mane tied with the same colour. He went on at 
an ambling jog. The post-boxes were in the corners of the 
streets, and stamps were put on the letters in the usual Euro- 
pean way ; but they were carried afterwards in square boxes 
hung on the two ends of bamboos, and balanced on men's 
shoulders. These men ran day and night over their appointed 
number of miles, finding relays waiting to shoulder the bamboo 
and continue running without losing a single moment, or 
breaking the sing-song chant which it is the exclusive privilege 
of postmen to sing. On our journey up, our jinricksha men 
had begun singing it, and had been stopped by some officials, 
who said it was against the laws for any one but the postman 
to sing that song. 

The Japanese are like little children, so merry and full of 
pretty ways, and very quick at taking in fresh ideas ; but they 


Japan 225 

don't think or reason much, and have scarcely any natural 
affection towards one another. Everybody who has lived long 
among them seems to get disgusted with their falseness and 
superficiality. One never sees a mother kiss or caress her 
baby. The poor little thing is tied on to the back of a small 
sister in the morning in a well-padded bundle, and tumbles 
about with her all day, roaring piteously. People only laugh 
if one pities it. 

As I sat at work, plenty of people came to look at me; but 
they never got in my way or between me and the place I was 
sketching. They always seemed to understand what I was 
about. The women were very merry, but pretty and lady- 
like in their ways. The young men, with their attempts at 
European clothing and manners, were comical with their great- 
coats and wideawakes over petticoats and pattens. Like 
Tungake, when they spoke to people they considered inferior, 
they used a most guttural tone of voice, and I used to fancy 
strangulation must ensue after much of it. His delight was to 
get the " boy " of the hotel to carry his lantern or go errands 
for him ; he never did anything himself if he could help it. 
Then he would put on his coarse, patronising tone, and spin 
yarns to the " boy," who made bows and laughed at his jokes, 
and jerked out "heh" continually. 

The Doctor and Mrs. W. came for me one evening in the 
full moonlight, and took me in a third jinricksha to the 
Kyrinitza Temple, upon a height in a lovely nook of the hills, 
backed by fine trees. All the quaint gates and porticoes stood 
out grandly, as well as the city below, almost as clearly seen 
as in the daytime. And the effect of the white light among 
the crowded pillars of the temple ought to have been very 
fine, only the moon did not look that way at that hour a fact 
the Doctor was much vexed at having forgotten. He proposed 
to wait ; but we shivered, and begged to be excused. There 
is something magnificent in the simplicity of those wooden 
temples, entirely without paint outside, the great round pillars 


226 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

showing all the colour and grain of the wood. Inside they are 
gilt, full of rich things and colour, with quite a Byzantine 
look I made a study of the great Cheone Temple in its 
almost too dark interior. The priests delighted in watching 
me, and were most eager over my progress. Their ways were 
funny. At twelve every day they carried little boxes of 
lacquer, containing cups of hot tea and rice, to the different 
altars, one of them beating a gong or other musical (?) instru- 
ment. Tungake said, "Him tell God tiffin ready." They 
hardly left the food long enough to cool, but took it away and 
ate it themselves. The Shinta temples were red, and full 
of all sorts of idols. There are many different degrees of 
Buddhism, the highest of which appears a very reasonable reli- 
gion. After our moonlight expedition that night, we returned 
to dine with the Doctor, whose little dinners would have been 
thought extra nice in Paris or London. Mrs. W. lived quite 
in the country. After sketching all day amongst the dead 
leaves, and morning white frosts, I used to be scarcely able to 
stand from stiffness and coming rheumatism, and had to hold 
on by a tree at first, till I could use my feet. Then I often 
tramped off through the temple gardens and fields, to pay her 
a visit, and restore circulation if I could. She also would keep 
me to dinner, and send me home in her own jinricksha. 

The upper classes seem to have melted away in Japan since 
the new state of things there, though it is supposed that some 
of the Princes of the Tycoon still sulk in the country amongst 
the hills. One day Mr. W. sent me his own jinricksha man 
and two others, to run double tandem, and they hauled me up 
to the top of the highest mountain in the neighbourhood, from 
whence I had magnificent views all over the lake of Biwa as 
well as the city. It was white with snow and frost at the top, 
and too cold to stay long. At the foot of the hill were many 
pilgrimage -temples, with those curious gates, their tops like 
inverted bows, whose origin I had never succeeded in making 
out Some said they were copied from the top of a tent, and 


Japan 227 

the droop of its canvas between two poles. Some said they 
were intended for birds to rest on. They were never wider 
than one stone, which often rested simply on two other upright 
ones, but it was always hollowed out in the same curve. We 
passed through hundreds of stone lanterns also, a peculiarity 
of Japanese temples. We saw people washing vegetables in 
the streams, with a small wooden tub for each foot to stand 
in, in the water, having loops in them for the great toe to go 
into. Thus they could patter about without wetting their feet 
in the shallow streams. They usually walked on pattens, and 
had many falls, which were highly amusing to all the spec- 
tators, who went into roars of laughter at their misfortunes. 
That very day my three bipeds got into such a state of delight 
when the steep hill-road was left behind them that they started 
into the city at full gallop, tearing round the corners and yell- 
ing like wild things, and finally fell down like a pack of cards, 
upsetting me at a street corner. I heard my skull go crack 
against the wall of the house. When at last I picked myself up 
again, and put up my hand to feel if my head was still there, 
I saw a crowd round me, holding their sides and roaring with 
laughter. All my three men were more or less bruised, but 
grinned also, so I followed fashion and did as they did ; but 
no one attempted to help us in any way. They looked on 
the whole, apparently, as a little scene got up for their 

Kioto was a terrible place for emptying purses. While 
Lady Parkes was there we had a perfect bazaar every night of 
wonderful embroideries, china, bronzes, and enamels, the latter 
being expensive but very lovely, with porcelain linings. I went 
to see them made. First a fine scroll-work of wire was stuck 
on, then the crevices were filled with clay, after which the 
whole was baked, coloured, baked again, filed down, and 
polished a slow process, taking many hands to do the different 

I went to a place where they sell live pets, and saw the 

228 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

most beautiful gold and silver pheasants, mandarin ducks, 
monkeys, and gazelles, and hideous brown salamanders from 
Lake Biwa, two feet long ; also tortoises in a tank. The tor- 
toise with a green tail Japanese are so fond of embroidering, 
is merely one with green algae growing on its shell. The 
Doctor had one in an aquarium, besides gold fish with ruffs 
round their necks and fringes on their tails. He showed me 
also a leaf from a tree on which one could scratch some writ- 
ing with a pin, which became black like ink, and would last 
so for years. Japan was most attractive. There was always 
something new and interesting to meet me every day. I 
had hoped to stay over the winter, and to go to the hills and 
Nikko in the summer, but I got stiffer and stiffer, and at last 
could scarcely crawl; so on the 19th of December I ordered a 
boat to Osaka, and set myself to pack as well as I could, 
with a fool to help me, crippled hands, and bones full of 

We started in jinrickshas, at 8 P.M., for a two hours' 
rattle through the suburbs to the river-side. In ,the boat- 
house the men were roasting their bare legs and dripping 
garments over the great pots of burning charcoal, and the tiny 
neat little women were offering them thimblefuls of the hot 
stuff they called tea, while cooking was going on in another 
corner, and a bright glaring light was on the people's faces. I 
shivered and ached, and could barely crawl out to the "house- 
boat " prepared for me, and in through one of its windows on 
to the heap of quilted coverlets, on which I passed the night ; 
with abundant ventilation, but not more than in my late 
quarters at Kioto. The sailors ran round and round over my 
head, pushing, pulling, and shouting, till morning, when they 
landed me near the Osaka railway-station, in which I found a 
good fire and boiling water for my tea, to say nothing of a com- 
fortable dressing-room (European comforts are nice some- 
times). I took the first train to Kobe", and good Mr. B. opened 
the door to me himself, telling me his wife had said I would 


Japan 229 

come that morning, when she saw so much snow on the hills. 
They were kind, and gave me extra warm clothing, packing 
me off in the steamer the next day for Yokohama, where the 
C.s again received me. 

I was in the doctor's hands for ten days with rheumatic 
fever. I could not even feed myself during part of the time. 
I sent off Tungake, and hired a small nurse of about four feet 
high, who tyrannised over me like a genuine Gamp, perpetually 
running in and out at night with a horrid lantern, whose tallow 
candle she used to blow out close under my nose and leave to 
smoulder. Then she curled herself up in the hearthrug, 
putting a wooden pillow under the angle of her jawbone, so 
as not to disturb her beautifully arranged hair and chignon 
(which was only dressed once or twice in the week). She had 
no idea of keeping up a fire, and used to pour water on the coals 
to make them last, she said, and I suspect she intercepted and 
carried off a good deal of the food my kind hostess ordered for 
me, till I was half starved on one roasted lark. I lived in the 
house in the garden, and out of reach of the family care. 
Mrs. C. was extremely kind, went on board the steamer with 
me, and secured me a good cabin to myself. 

The Messagerie boats are certainly the very best in the 
world. That one was so beautifully warmed and sweet, that 
it seemed like a change of climate when I entered it. I got 
better every day, all was so clean and the cooking so good. 
I sat next the kind old captain ; and his devotion to a small 
puppy "bull-dog-mastiff" was most amusing. For the next 
day or two we were always within sight of some island or 
another. One of them was very striking, with smoking sul- 
phur springs on its side, and a great natural arch in one of its 
buttresses over the sea. We had beautiful calm weather, and 
entered the harbour of Hong Kong about eight in the evening^ 
when its semicircle of lights were bright as the stars above. 
The number of fine ships and odd junks (looking like ill-tied 
bundles of bamboo) was very striking. 

230 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

In the next morning's sunrise, the colours of the rocky hills 
which surround the bay or inland sea were perfectly marvel- 
lous pink, rosy red, and salmon -colour, with scarcely any 
vegetation except just round and above the town itself. We 
all moved our things out of the nice little ship we had come 
in to a larger one of the same company on the other side of 
the harbour, and passed on our way the steam-launch Commo- 
dore Parish had sent for me ; but it soon followed and took me 
on board the old Hospital Ship, the Victor Emmanuel, which had 
brought my Cousin Dudley and so many other wounded from 
Ashantee, and was now a man-of-war again, and anchored off 
Hong Kong. The Commodore had turned its great saloon 
into a perfect museum of Chinese and Japanese curiosities, 
and he now established me and my lame feet on a comfortable 
sofa. He then took me on shore, having his own chairs and 
bearers waiting at the landing-place, with the very longest of 
bamboos to sling the chairs on, hoisted on their shoulders. 
There must have been at least twenty feet between the bearers, 
and they went, like the Japanese, at a continual trot, but were 
huge men, very different in their whole ways and appearance. 
It is difficult to believe that they can both be descendants of one 
race. The Chinese have far more originality and power of 
thought, as well as bodily strength and endurance. We did 
not do more than we could help, but saw enough to give me 
an idea of how pretty those hills might become in a few years 
by irrigation and good management. After luncheon we 
went and had tea at Government House, and Miss K. gave 
me a drive in her pony-carriage along the shore, with a Sikh 
outrider, of whom, she told me, the Chinamen had the greatest 
horror, as they said the Sikhs were not men but devils. The 
Chinaman's tail is a great help to the police ; it gives them 
such a handle to catch him by. They often tied several men 
by their tails and drove them on in front of them. The clever 
thieves had learned two dodges to escape this one was 
to have false tails which came off in their hands ; the other 


Singapore 231 

to plait them full of needles and pins, which did their captors 
"grievous bodily injury." 

I slept at Government House in a real good bed for once, 
with a roaring English fire close to it this was no small 
treat waking next morning to look out on that wonderfully- 
coloured circle of mountains, and the blue bay with a fore- 
ground of exquisite garden shrubs and flowers. If I had only 
been well I could have stayed on there, and gone the next 
week in the Commodore's steam-launch up to Canton, one of 
the wonders of the world ; but it was wiser to get nearer the 
equator, and four days more took me into heat enough at the 
French settlement of Saigon, and the mouths of the river 
which leads to that wonderful old forest full of ruined 
palaces and temples, /C/ambodia, about which so little is known. 

Two more days brought us to Singapore, where I landed 
on the 19th of January 1876. I could barely hobble from 
the office of the hotel to my rooms at the other end of the 
building, through its lovely garden; but how delicious that 
still warm air was, with exquisite blue sky, lilac shadows, and 
white lights ! The figures which squatted under the verandah 
and portico had a grace about them which I had never seen 
before, and their rich dark complexions were the real thing, 
and not white turned brown or yellow by fading or scorching. 
Their turbans, sashes, and draperies of pure colour, and the 
sprinkling of gold and silver, were in such perfect harmony 
with their skins. Many of them were simple bundles of white 
calico. It was such a pleasure to look at these figures that I 
could not even scold when they persecuted me to buy a 
hundred things I did not want. I found a lemon-tree close to 
my room, covered with tailor -ants which had sewn up the 
leaves into most ingenious nests, the pretty flowers opening 
their sweet petals close to them. 

One of my windows was quite blocked up by a great bread- 
fruit tree covered with fruit as big as melons, with leaves two 
feet in length, gloriously glossy, and I set myself at once to 

232 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

make a study of it. While at this work Mrs. S., the banker's 
wife, and her father, Major MacN., came to see me. The 
former insisted on my moving at once to her comfortable 
house outside the town. Like all the houses of Singapore, it 
stood on its own little hill, none of these hills being more than 
two hundred feet above the sea; but they were just high 
enough to catch the sea-breezes at night, and one could sleep 
with perfect comfort, though only three degrees from the 
equator. This house had belonged to the House of Guthrie 
for two generations, and was surrounded by every sort of 
fruit-tree. Of these there were perhaps more in Singapore 
than in all the rest of the world. The lovely Mangosteen was 
just becoming ripe, and the great Durian, which I soon learnt 
to like, under the teaching of the pretty little English children, 
who called it " Darling Durian." 

No garden could have been more delighted in than that 
one was by me. Every day I was sure to find some new fruit 
or gorgeous flower to paint, Mrs. S. working beside me all 
the hot day through in her deliciously airy upper rooms. 
Then we drove out among the neighbouring gardens in the 
late afternoon and evening, and went to bed soon after dinner; 
for Mr. S. and the other gentlemen came home far too tired 
after their days in the hot bank in the town for playing at 
company or sitting up at night. They had a delightful little 
monkey called Jacko, who considered that all dogs were made 
to be teased ; and it was strange to see how the big creatures 
submitted and humoured it. This monkey was a bad sitter, 
and seemed to have a malicious pleasure in throwing itself 
upside-down whenever I looked at it. Then if I scolded, it 
held out its paw to shake and be friends. There was also an 
ourang-outang who used to be led in by the hand by the 
Malay butler. They were exactly alike. Both had the most 
depressed expression, which the small one never varied. The 
big one grinned sometimes, when he looked even more like 
a monkey than he was before. 


Singapore 233 

The Botanical Garden at Singapore was beautiful. Behind 
it was a jungle of real untouched forest, which added much to 
its charm. In the jungle I found real pitcher-plants (Nepers 
thes) winding themselves amongst the tropical bracken. It was 
the first time I had seen them growing wild, and I screamed 
with delight. One day we drove out to have luncheon with 
the Doctor and his family, who had a country house about five 
miles off, near the coast, in the midst of plantations of cocoa- 
nuts. The Doctor showed me all the process of crushing and 
clearing the oil not a particularly agreeable one. But the 
pictures of people at work, the glorious trees, and certain 
plants under them, were very interesting. One wild plant I 
saw there for the first time, the Wormm excelsa, which 
abounds in the different islands of " Malaysia," and is often 
planted as a hedge. It has a glossy five-petalled flower of 
the brightest yellow, and as large as a single camellia, with 
large leaves like those of the chestnut, also glossy, and 
separate seed-carpels which, when the scarlet seeds are ripe, 
open wide and afford a most gorgeous contrast of colour with 
its waxy green and scarlet buds. I know few handsomer 
plants. All the tribe of Jamboa fruits (magnified myrtles), 
too, were magnificent in their colours. There were said to 
be three hundred varieties of them. Some of them had 
lovely rose-coloured and pink young leaves and shoots. The 
nyum-nyum was another curious fruit coming out from the 
trunk and branches like the blimbing, with tiny red flowers 
and pink young leaves which looked like blossoms in the 
distance. That cocoa-nut plantation was a most enjoyable place. 
A narrow path led in five minutes through its shady groves to 
a quiet sandy bay, where one might bathe all day long without 
fear of interruption. 

I was taken to see a neighbouring lady one day, who told 
me that a few years ago she was sitting in her central room at 
work when the roof suddenly came down on her. The white 
ants had eaten the wood of the supporting beams all round 

234 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

the nails, till the whole gave way without warning and crushed 
the house ; but she and her children were all dug out unhurt, 
having been under the gable or cone of the roof, which kept 
its shape. Houses at Singapore are generally built with a 
high central cone and a windowless room under it lighted from 
the other rooms, with no ceiling between it and the high- 
peaked roof, under which are more lights and ventilation. 
Those rooms were always too dark for painting in, and too 
airless for my taste. I prefer hot air to none, and could never 
get into the tropical habit of sleeping while the precious day- 
light lasted. 

Mrs. S.'s verandah was full of rare plants ; orchids, caladiums, 
and other exquisite things. On one, Ficus Henjamina, were 
planted some score of phaloenopsis in full flower, like strings 
of white butterflies hovering in the air with every breath of 
wind. One day we went to have tea with Mr. Wampoa, the 
famous Chinaman, whose hospitality and cordiality to the 
English have been so well known for half a century in the 
Straits. He showed us all his curiosities ; but his garden was to 
me the great attraction, rare orchids hanging to every tree, and 
the great Victoria regia in full bloom in his ponds, as well as 
r- the pink and white lotus, and blue and red nymphaeas. Many 
of his plants were cut into absurd imitations of human figures 
and animals, to me highly objectionable, but amusing to the 
children. He had also several live creatures and birds of 
great beauty. He showed us a tortoise from Siam with six 
legs. The hinder ones it only used when trying to get up a 
very steep bank or steps, propping itself up with them, while 
it struggled on with the four front ones. The Siamese cat 
was a remarkable little creature, coloured like a fox, and might 
possibly have been a mixture of the two animals originally. 
It had sky-blue eyes, and was very shy. Mrs. S. had one 
which followed her about and slept in her room. 

The Maharajah of Johore, a near neighbour and great 
friend of her husband's, came to dine and play at billiards 


Singapore 235 

with him in a black velvet coat with diamond buttons, worn 
over the usual Malay petticoat or Sarong. He wore a rich 
turban on his head, and spoke good English. After a fort- 
night I went to stay at Government House with Sir William 
and Lady Jervois. It was a huge building with fine halls 
and reception-rooms, but very little bedroom accommodation. 
It stood on the highest hill of the district, and overlooked all 
the town of Singapore, its bay and islands, and miles of the 
richest country covered with woods and cocoa-nuts. Close under 
my window was a great india-rubber tree with large shiny 
leaves and fantastic hanging roots. In the front of the garden 
was a gorgeous tree of Poinciana regia blazing with scarlet 
blooms. I immediately begged a branch and hung it up to 
paint, but made a most absurd mistake. I placed it the wrong 
way up. It was stupid, but I was consoled afterwards when 
I found that that clever Dutch lady, Madame van Nooten, 
had actually published a painting of the poinciana growing 
in the same topsy-turvy way ! Nothing approaches this tree 
for gorgeousness ; the peculiar tender green of the acacia-like 
leaves enhances the brilliancy of its vermilion tints. The 
amherstia was also in great beauty in the same royal garden, 
with scarlet pods and delicate rosy-lilac young leaves. The 
beaumontia creeper was there too, with its white waxy bells 
and beautifully embossed leaves. It was curious to see how 
little the English people cared for these glories around them. 
Lawn -tennis and croquet were reigning supreme in Singa- 
pore, and little else was thought of after business was over. 
Lady Jervois and her daughters were exceedingly kind to 
me, and played Mozart deliciously of an evening, while Sir 
William was a most genial host. 




AFTER a fortnight at Government House, Sir William wrote 
me letters to the Rajah and Rani of Sarawak, and I went 
on board the little steamer which goes there every week from 
Singapore. After a couple of pleasant days with good old Cap- 
tain Kirk, we steamed up the broad river to Kuching, the 
capital, for some four hours through low country, with nipa, 
areca, and cocoa-nut palms, as well as mangroves and other 
swampy plants bordering the water's edge. At the mouth of 
the river are some high rocks and apparent mountain -tops 
isolated above the jungle level, covered entirely by forests of 
large trees. The last mile of the river has higher banks. A 
large population lives in wooden houses raised on stilts, almost 
hidden in trees of the most luxuriant and exquisite forms of 
foliage. The water was alive with boats, and so deep in its 
mid-channel that a man-of-war could anchor close to the house 
of the Rajah even at low tide, which rose and fell thirty feet 
at that part. On the left bank of the river was the long street 
of Chinese houses with the Malay huts behind, which formed 
the town of Kuching, many of whose houses are ornamented 
richly on the outside with curious devices made in porcelain 
and tiles. On the right bank a flight of steps led up to the 
terrace and lovely garden in which the palace of the Rajah 
had been placed (the original hero, Sir James Brooke, had 
lived in what was now the cowhouse). I sent in my letter, 


1DO" East of Green-wLclt 

3tcmforVs GeogV Estate 

London; Macmillaii & Co. 

CHAP, vii Borneo and Java 237 

and the Secretary soon came on board and fetched me on 
shore, where I was most kindly welcomed by the Eani, a very 
handsome English lady, and put in a most luxurious room, 
from which I could escape by a back staircase into the lovely 
garden whenever I felt in the humour or wanted flowers. 

The Rajah, who had gone up one of the rivers in his gun- 
boat yacht, did not come back for ten days, and his wife was 
not sorry to have the rare chance of a countrywoman to talk 
to. She had lost three fine children on a homeward voyage 
from drinking a tin of poisoned milk, but one small tyrant of 
eighteen months remained, who was amusing to watch at his 
games, and in his despotism over a small Chinese boy in a pig- 
tail, and his pretty little Malay ayah. The Rajah was a shy 
quiet man, with much determination of character. He was 
entirely respected by all sorts of people, and his word (when 
it did come) was law, always just and well chosen. A fine 
mastiff dog he had been very fond of, bit a Malay one day. The 
man being a Muhammadan, thought it an unclean animal, so the 
Rajah had it tried and shot on the public place by soldiers 
with as much ceremony as if it had been a political conspirator, 
and never kept any more dogs. He did not wish to hurt his 
people's prejudices, he said, for the mere selfish pleasure of 
possessing a pet. 

He had one hundred soldiers, a band which played every 
night when we dined (on the other side of the river), and 
about twenty young men from Cornwall and Devonshire called 
" The Officers," who bore different grand titles, H. Highness, 
Treasurer, Postmaster-General, etc., and who used to come up 
every Tuesday to play at croquet before the house. Some of 
them lived far away at different out-stations on the various 
rivers, and had terribly lonely lives, seldom seeing any civil- 
ised person to speak to, but settling disputes among strange 
tribes of Dyaks, Chinese, and Malay settlers. 

The Rajah coined copper coins, and printed postage-stamps 
with his portrait on them. The house was most comfortable, 

238 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

full of books, newspapers, and every European luxury. The 
views from the verandah and lovely gardens, of the broad river, 
distant isolated mountains, and glorious vegetation, quite 
dazzled me with their magnificence. What was I to paint 
first ? But my kind hostess made me feel I need not hurry, 
and that it was truly a comfort and pleasure to her to have 
me there ; so I did not hurry, and soon lost every scrap of 
Japanese rheumatism, the last ache being in the thumb which 
held my palette it is usually the limb that does most work 
which suffers from that disease. Every one collected for me as 
usual. Orchids and pitcher-plants were pulled for me most ruth- 
lessly, the latter being of several varieties, from the tiny little 
plants which grew in the meadow near, and whose pitchers 
were not half the size of thimbles, to trailing plants of six or 
eight feet long. The common pepper-plant, too, was much cul- 
tivated and very elegant, as well as gambier and other dyes, 
sago, and gutta-percha, the former growing thirty feet high, 
with grand terminal bunches of flowers from the centre of the 
crown (very unlike the small cycads people had called the 
sago palm in other countries). It takes fifteen years before it 
flowers ; then, before the fruit has time to ripen, the whole tree 
is cut down and the pith taken out and washed. Wallace 
says one tree could supply a man with food for a whole year. 
The gutta-percha trees were fast disappearing. They ought to 
have been protected by law, and the people compelled to bleed 
them as in other countries, not to sacrifice the great trees for 
one crop trees which had been a hundred years growing, and 
could not be quickly replaced. 

Nearly every evening I used to go for a row up and down 
the river with the Eani. It was quite alive with canoes and 
other picturesque boats, from good-sized merchant vessels to 
mere hollowed logs of wood, so small that the paddlers seemed 
to sit on the water, and might easily be snapped up by alli- 
gators; but they did not often come so high up the river. 
When they did there was an immediate crusade ; traps were 

vii Borneo and Java 239 

baited with monkeys or cats, and the beast was caught. The 
Kajah gave a large reward for one, and a still larger sum if, 
after a post-mortem examination, the brute was proved to be a 
man-eater. It was always buried under one of the garden 
trees, to the great improvement and delight of the latter. 

The little town was full of life and civilisation, the bazaars 
and houses gay with colour, porcelain panels with raised flowers 
and griffins being let into the walls. At night the lights got 
so magnified in reflection that one could fancy oneself almost 
at Cologne or Mayence. Above and below for miles the 
semi-amphibious Malays had built their basket-like dwellings 
on stakes in the mud or on the banks above thatched, walled, 
and floored with the leaf -stalks of the nipa palm, which 
delights in growing in brackish water, being almost drowned 
at high tide and almost dry at low. The Malays get wine, 
salt, and sugar from its juice, and oil from the nuts, which ar&_ 
contained in a cone as big as a cannon-ball. The sunsets were 
superb on the river. When the tide was very high we used 
to go up some of the small side-streams, and push our way 
under arches of green tangle, which broke off bits of our boat's 
roofs, as well as the rotten branches over our heads. We 
watched troops of monkeys gambolling in the trees, chattering 
and disputing with one another as to who we were, and what 
we came for. One day we were overtaken by darkness in one 
of these expeditions, and made a short cut home overland, with 
a native to guide us by an almost invisible path through the 
bush, very suggestive of snakes, but we saw none. The wild 
jungle came close up to the garden on three sides, and none 
but native eyes could discover paths beyond or through it. 

There were acres of pine-apples, many of them having the 
most exquisite pink and salmon tints, and deep blue flowers. 
These grew like weeds. They were merely thinned out, and 
the ground was never manured. They had been growing on 
that same patch of ground for nine years. They were wonder- 
fully good to eat. We used to cut the top off with a knife 

240 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

and scoop out the fruit with a spoon, the truest way of enjoy- 
ing them. The mangosteen, custard -apple, and granadilla 
were also in abundance. The mangosteen was one of the 
curious trees people told me never had a flower. But I watched 
and hunted day by day till I found one, afterwards seeing 
whole trees full of blossoms, with rich crimson bracts and 
rellow petals, quite as pretty as the lovely fruit. This last is 
purple, and about the size of an orange, with a pink skin 
inside, divided into segments, six or more, which look like 
lumps of snow, melting in the mouth like it with a grape-like 
sweetness. The duca was a still finer fruit of the same order, 
growing in bunches, with an outer skin or shell like wash- 
leather, and a peculiar nutty flavour in addition to its juici- 
ess. The custard-apple was well named, for it is a union of 
both words. Its outside is embossed with lozenges of dark 
green on an almost creamy ground, and over the whole a 
plum -like bloom, very difficult to paint, and indescribably 

My dresses were becoming very ragged, so I sent for a bit 
of undyed China silk and a tailor to make it. He appeared in 
the morning in a most dignified and gorgeous turban and 
other garments, and squatted himself in the passage outside 
my door at his work ; but when I passed him on my way to 
our midday breakfast, all these fine garments, even the turban, 
were neatly folded in a pile beside him, and he was almost in 
the dress nature made him. Every one peeled more or less in 
the middle of the day, many going regularly to bed in dark 
rooms. I never did, but worked on quietly till the day cooled 
into evening, and I could go out again. The Rani gave me 
entire liberty, and did not even make me go with her for her 
somewhat monotonous constitutional walk every afternoon, 
crossing the river to the one carriageable road, tramping nearly 
to its end and back, always dressed to perfection, and escorted 
by the Rajah or some of the "officers." She used to time 
those walks so as to take me for a row before the splendid 

vii Borneo and Java 241 

sunsets were over, and I never minded how long I sat in the 
boat waiting for her, watching the wonderful colours and the 
life on the river. 

Now and then the wives of some of the rich Malays used to 
come and pay her a visit, dressed in all the brightest silks of 
China or Japan. They wore many ornaments of gold, much 
worked, and coloured rose or lilac, with ill-cut diamonds and 
other stones set in them. They had exquisite embroidery on 
their jackets, but were most proud of their heads of long hair, 
and delighted in letting it down to show us. The Eani took 
me one day to return a visit of ceremony from the family of 
the principal shipbuilder, a member of the Eajah's council. 
He and his son received us at the landing-place, and we 
mounted a high ladder (over the stilts) to his house, and were 
taken into the great barn-like room, where fifty Malay ladies 
had been invited to meet us in their gaudiest dresses, covered 
with gold bangles and dangling ornaments. They all sat 
round against the walls of the room, on the floor ; we were 
conducted by our elbows to some chairs round a table in the 
middle, on which were two wax candles lighted in our honour, 
while coffee, with two large trays of curious cakes, was 
brought. At the end of the room were five big drums, some 
singing women, and many babies in and out of clothes. A 
most frightful noise began. Once our host got up, went and 
spoke to the orchestra, and returned to tell us he had told 
them "to play louder; they were not making half noise 
enough ! " (the more noise the more honour being his maxim). 
Many of the women were pretty, and their manners very sweet 
and gentle. On our return another boat followed us with the 
two candles and trays of cakes as presents. The latter were 
made of rice-flour, gum arabic, and sugar, in different propor- 
tions, flavoured with almonds and spices. They all had a 
great family likeness to one another. 

One night we found about fifty Sea-Dyaks all squatted 
round the luxuriously furnished , English drawing-room when 

VOL. I p 

242 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

we came out from dinner. They had very little dress except 
tattooing, long wild hair, and coloured pocket-handkerchiefs 
round their necks, and sat perfectly silent, only giving a 
gratified grunt if the Rajah made an observation or relit his 
cigar, till the Rani got up to say good-night ; then they also 
^departed, apparently contented. They had come down the 
river in a long canoe from a great distance, to ask leave to 
take the heads of another tribe which had insulted them, and 
had been told they must not have that pleasure. They 
seemed to submit without a murmur to the prejudices of 
civilisation. Of course these people were full of superstition, 
and we used often to see small canoes and cocoa-nut shells full 
of burning oil floating down the stream with the receding tide, 
having been started from some house where there was fever, 
to scare away the malaria, and save doctors' bills. They used 
also to beat drums for the same purpose, which was much 
more disturbing to the neighbourhood. 

There was a magnificent specimen of the Madagascar raven- 
ala or travellers' tree, close to the house on the other side of a 
small bend of the river, and the Rajah had had the good taste 
to leave all its younger off- sets round it uncut. I spent 
some afternoons in drawing that view, and used to see 
numbers of graceful water-snakes swim up the creek with 
their heads curved well out of the water. Iguanas I also saw, 
and monkeys which used to come down to the edge of the 
garden and laugh at us. Sweet singing-birds were very plenti- 
ful. There was a bush under my window to which a pair of 
honeysuckers came regularly every night and morning. They 
were no bigger than humming-birds, but did not hover like 
them j clinging on tightly with their feet while they plunged 
their long curved bills into each flower in turn. The cock 
had a head and back of bright metallic blue and a yellow 
waistcoat ; his wife was greenish. 

One day a letter came, announcing that Captain Buller, 
R.N., was going to bring the new Consul of Labuan in his 

vii Borneo and Java 243 

war-ship to pay a visit to the Eajah ; so, as his spare rooms 
were only two, I persuaded him to send me off out of the way 
to his mountain-farm at Mattange. The Rajah lent me a cook, 
a soldier, and a boy, gave me a lot of bread, a coopful of 
chickens, and packed us all into a canoe, in which we pulled 
through small canals and forest nearly all day ; then landed 
at a village, and walked up 700 feet of beautiful zigzag 
road, to the clearing in the forest where the farm and 
chalet were. The view was wonderful from it, with the great 
swamp stretched out beneath like a ruffled blue sea, the real 
sea with its islands beyond, and tall giant trees as foreground 
round the clearing, which was also full of stumps and fallen 
trees grown over with parasites the most exquisite velvety 
and metallic leaves, creeping plants, "foliage plants," caladiums, 
alpinias, and the lovely cissus discolor of all manner of 
colours, creeping over everything. 

Great parasitic trees were standing there with their stalks 
all plaited together. They had strangled the original tree on 
which they had lived the first years of their treacherous lives, 
and were now left like tall chimneys of lattice -work, their 
victim having rotted away from the centre. There were 
masses of tree-ferns ; one group round a little trickling spring 
which supplied the house with water, I could not help painting. 
Life was very delicious up there. I stayed till I had eaten all 
the chickens, and the last remains of my bread had turned 
blue; then, having seen the smoke of the parting salutes 
through my telescope in the swamp far below, I came down 
again, my soldier using his fine long sword to decapitate the 
leeches which stuck to me by the way. When I got to the end 
of my walk, I found I was expected to go back in a big boat so 
covered with matting that I should have seen nothing of the 
beauties outside, and to sit on a flat pillow and not get the 
cramp, in the company of a native Malay family of high caste 
in gorgeous clothing, who were arranging each other's heads 
in the Italian fashion. I could not endure that, so insisted on 

244 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

getting into my old canoe with my soldier and the lads, and 
letting the old cook have the honour and glory of a voyage 
with his native grandees. I had a most enjoyable day ; for 
we hunted up all sorts of orchids, pulling under the thick 
overhanging trees, while the boys ran up the branches like 
monkeys, cut them through with the soldier's silver-mounted 
sword, and let the tangled masses tumble down into the water 
below with a great splash and a flop, nearly swamping my small 
nut-shell of a canoe. We picked off all the treasures, and soon 
had a perfect haycock of greenery in the middle of the boat, to 
carry home and hang up to the Eajah's trees in the garden. 
One great tassel, like rats' tails, two yards long, of every deli- 
cate shade through blue, green, yellow, and red, was as much 
as one man could lift. Beautiful orange rhododendrons were 
also growing on those branches, but dropped their flowers at 
the slightest touch. 

The Eajah was very glad of all the things I brought ; but 
hanging on a dry tree over a well-mown grass lawn is a very 
different thing from living in a swamp over the water, and I 
fear few of my treasures lived long. He and the Eani went one 
expedition with me in the yacht, first going down the river to 
the sea, then up in a boat over the sand-bar, and up another 
big river, past groves of casuarina- trees, winding in and out, 
almost back to the sea again, as far as Loon Doon, where we 
found a very nice house, and the magistrate, Mr. N., a most 
hospitable host. The forests behind his house were really mag- 
nificent. Clerodendron fallax, whose blooms used to be employed 
by the Dyaks to dress the heads of their enemies taken in 
battle, and the large kinds of mussaenda, were particularly 
striking, the white bracts of the latter catching one's eyes at 
every turn. The blue crabs all over the mud at the edge of 
the river were very pretty too. Our host had a most cheerful 
character, and said he never felt dull, though the only 
European within reach was a wretched old drunken mission- 
ary with a Malay wife, and he saw no other from year's end 

vii Borneo and Java 245 

to year's end. He had found and seen the great rafflesia in bloom 
on the hill-jungle near, a sight I would have given much to see. 

The Kajah had planned taking me to some other stations, 
but his wife was suffering. We went back instead, and soon 
after I started in the small steam-launch up the river, with 
Mr. B., the good-natured Scotch-manager of the Borneo Com- 
pany's mines in Sarawak, and a young Devonshire giant, 
rejoicing in the title of " His Highness the Rajah's Honourable 
Treasurer." The banks of the river were a continual wonder 
all the way up, with creeping palms or rattans binding all the 
rest of the greenery together with their long wiry arms and 
fish-hook spines. I traced this plant far up into the high 
trees. No growing thing is more graceful or more spiteful.^ 
We slept at some antimony-mines near the river. I found 
that the manager and his wife came from Hastings, and their 
belongings lived in its old High Street, and knew myself and 
my dear old father perfectly well by sight. How the poor 
sickly little woman enjoyed a gossip ! She had had a constant 
struggle for life ever since she came out, but contrived to 
make her house most comfortable, and to make good cakes 
and bread and butter for her husband, in spite of the fever- 
giving climate. We continued our journey next morning on 
a springless tram-cart, with our feet hanging down behind, and 
considered that a rest for three hours ; after which an excellent 
little pony carried me, while the men walked, through a mar- 
vellous forest for fifteen miles, except when we came to the 
broken bridges and I had to balance myself on cranky poles 
while the pony scrambled through below. 

Some of the way was under limestone cliffs. The rock 
ferneries round the springs, caves, and masses of standing 
stalactites were exquisite, and the character of the vegetation 
was different from any other in the country. The rattans or 
creeping palms were everywhere, and the tall tree-stems were 
plastered over with exquisite coloured leaves, so exactly 
regular in their arrangement that they looked like some 

246 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

French artificial trimming, mounting up fifty feet or more 
without a branch till they suddenly changed their character, 
and turned into great bushes, their ladders of leaves rotting 
off, the stem spreading as a root, which grasps the victim-tree, 
gradually encircling it, and strangling it to death. No one 
misses it ; for the parasite has taken its place in the forest, and 
becomes itself a tall tree with a crown of branches and leaves 
at the top like the others. It seemed difficult to believe that 
those delicate velvet leaves and crimson stalks which ornament 
the tree so kindly at first should start with the express inten- 
tion of murdering it and taking its place ! But there are 
plenty of other murderers which start as parasites from a seed 
dropped in the branches by birds or wind, and throw their 
roots downwards. Some of those roots were full of fresh 
water. The Dyaks used to cut them in two and drink from 
them when no other good water was near. 

That forest was a perfect world of wonders. The lyco- 
podiums were in great beauty there, particularly those tinted 
with metallic blue or copper colour; and there were great 
metallic arums with leaves two feet long, graceful trees over 
the streams with scarlet bark all hanging in tatters, and such 
huge black apes ! One of these watched and followed us a 
long while, seeming to be as curious about us as we were about 
him. When we stopped he stopped, staring with all his might 
at us from behind some branch or tree-trunk ; but I had the 
best of that game, for I possessed an opera-glass and he did'nt, 
so could not probably realise the whole of our white ugliness. 
At last we reached a deep stream with a broken bridge, too 
bad even for the pony to scramble over or under, and he was 
sent back. Four Dyaks were waiting with a chair, but I was 
too anxious to examine the plants to get in, and walked on till 
near the end of the journey, when, in order not to disappoint 
them, I got in, and they started at a run and carried me up 
the steep little hill, and then up the steps of the verandah 
with a grunt of satisfaction and triumph. 


Borneo and Java 247 

It was an enchanting place that bungalow at Tegoro, entirely 
surrounded by virgin forest and grand mountains. Just 
opposite rose a small isolated mountain, full of quicksilver, 
with a deep ravine between us and it, and huge trees standing 
upon its edge, festooned with leaves, their branches adorned 
with wild pines and orchids for foreground. I was taken to 
the top of the mountain the next morning, where I saw all the 
process of collecting and purifying the quicksilver. On that 
hill one might hear Scotch, Malay, two kinds of Dyak, and 
seven kinds of Chinese spoken. The Chinese were the only 
really efficient workmen. They were clever and handy, but 
not lovable. Nobody liked the " heathen Chinee." The poor, 
simple, lazy Dyak used to bury his wages in the earth. The 
Chinamen dug them up again, and gambled them away. 

The Dyak has a sweet expression and much nobleness of 
figure, which he does not hide with superfluous clothing. His 
voice is gentle, and if asked a direct question he will give a 
truthful answer, and is almost the only savage who does. 
Every one told me the same story about them. At five o'clock 
a gong used to sound. We heard a great thud and shout, and 
the Dyak threw down his load, wherever he might happen to 
be, and ran home rejoicing work was over. Sometimes they 
would come up at that time, sit on the steps of our verandah, 
and gossip with Mr. B., who joked with them, treated them 
like good children, and then sent them off with a present an 
empty bottle, or a bit of toast off the tea-table ; and they went 
away quite happy. They just stayed long enough to make 
sufficient money to buy a gun or a blanket, then returned to 
their homes. I felt quite sorry to think that fine old mountain 
was steadily being blown to pieces with gunpowder. Every 
bit of it was said to be impregnated with quicksilver or cinna- 
bar, and one could pick up lumps of pure vermilion as one 
walked over it. It was a cruel process too, sweeping out the 
flues ; and though eleven out of the twelve men employed twice 
a year on it lost their health or died, fresh hands were always 


248 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

to be found for the work, being tempted by the high rate of 
pay. I plunged my arm into an iron bath of the pure metal 
up to the elbow, and found it very hard work to get it ia 
Much more is said to be in other hills around. 

I never saw anything finer than the afterglow at Tegoro. 
The great trees used to stand out like flaming corallines against 
the crimson hills. It was lovely in the full moon, too, with 
the clouds wreathing themselves in and out of the same giant 
trees around us. We had our morning tea at half-past six on 
the verandah, and a plum-pudding in a tin case from Fortnum 
and Mason was always brought out for the benefit of our 
young Cornishman, who was always ready for it. 

Mr. B. walked him off after it, and I had all the day in 
perfect quiet to work in the wild forest or the verandah on 
different curious plants. One creeper with pink waxy berries 
like bunches of grapes was particularly lovely ; and the scarlet 
velvet sterculia seed- case, with its grape-like berries, most 
magnificent in colour. Mr. B. soon started for some other 
mines, and I was left to the care of his assistant, Mr. K, who 
had been sent out originally as a naturalist by Sir Charles 
Lyell, in search of the " missing link," or men with tails ; and 
after searching the caves in vain, kept himself alive by " col- 
( lecting " for different people at home. Mr. B. found him out 
and sent him to Tegoro. He was full of wit and information 
about the country. I found him a most delightful companion, 
as good as a book to talk to, and he was delighted to find one 
who was interested in his hobbies. One day he came up with 
a native carrying ai toucan on a stick over his shoulder. The 
creature was tame, but bit and poked with the sharp end of 
his long bill. I wanted to see his wonderful tongue, and we 
opened his mouth, but could see none ; he had curled it all 
back on its curious spring head. He had beautiful black 
eyelashes standing straight out, and his full-face view was very 
funny, the two eyes looking so separately at one, on each side 
of the big red nose. I gave the toucan a large berry from the 


Borneo and Java 249 

bunch I was painting, and he swallowed it whole. I saw it 
roll slowly down his long throat and rest in the curved part. 
He had that berry up again several times during the time I 
was sketching him, playing with it at the end of his long 
beak, then letting it roll down again. When I offered him 
bread he gave his head a jerk of disdain. " White people's 
rubbish," he croaked out with indignation. They were most 
odd birds, with their huge beaks and crests, having the queer 
habit of plastering their wives up in a hollow tree when they 
began to lay, with a hole left for ventilation just large enough 
for her beak to go through, to receive the food the cock 
brought her. This he continued to bring till the young birds 
were fledged and able to fly away and feed themselves. Mr. 
B. told me he used to pass one of these nests constantly, and 
see the beak of the old hen sticking out of its prison, and could 
not resist giving it a flip with a liane hanging in front of it, 
when the beak disappeared with a croak of disgust. The 
hollow crest is thought to be a sounding-board or drum, which 
helps them to make their odd trumpet-like call. 

Mr. E. was a cousin of Millais, and his sketches and illus- 
trations of his different adventures in pen and ink were most 
excellent. I tried hard to make him publish them. Once he 
was bitten by a lemur he had caught and given to a friend. 
Walking back over the mountains, he felt as if his shirt was 
throttling him, but found his fingers so swollen he could not 
unbutton it, and soon fell down in a swoon, remaining there 
till the morning, when some Dyaks found him all puffed up 
and unable to move or speak. He said he did not suffer, but 
was utterly powerless. They poured half a bottle of gin down 
his throat, and carried him home, and he got well in time. 
It was all the effect of that small cat's poisonous bite. 

One day Mr. E. took me into the great forest by a regular 
Dyak path, which means a number of round poles laid one in 
front of the other over the bogs and mud. It requires some 
practice to keep one's balance and not occasionally to step on 

250 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

one side of the pole, in which case one probably sinks over 
the tops of one's boots in the wet sop, lucky if one goes no 
deeper ! We crossed the river several times on the round 
trunks of fallen trees, which, when rendered slippery by recent 
rains, are not altogether a pleasant mode of proceeding, par- 
ticularly when there is a noisy rushing deep river a few feet 
below. Now and then there was a bamboo rail ; but as they 
were generally insecurely fastened and rotten, one was as well 
\ without them. We passed one or two large gutta-percha trees 
^ which had escaped the usual reckless felling, and had the scars 
of present bleeding ; and I was taken inside the trunk of a 
splendid parasitic tree, a gigantic chimney of lace-work, the 
victim -tree having entirely rotted away and disappeared I 
could look straight up and see the blue sky at the top through 
its head of spreading green. The lace-like shell was not two 
inches thick, and it must have been over 100 feet high. 

We went back another way along the banks of the stream, 
under rocks more in than out of the water such clear cool 
water with grand ferns and rattans dipping into rt from the 
banks above. Mr. E. found me a Green Stick insect, which 
curled its long tail over its head like a scorpion and looked 
most vicious, but was perfectly harmless. It had gorgeous 
scarlet wings to fly with, but on the ground was invisible as 
a blade of grass. 

At last I had to leave Tegoro. Mr. E. walked down two 
miles with me ; then we got into a canoe and shot the rapids 
for many more miles, with the great trees arching over the 
small river we followed, and wonderful parasites, including 
the scarlet seschy nan thus, hanging from the branches in all 
the impossible places to stop. We sat on the floor of the 
canoe, held on tightly, and went at a terrible pace, the men 
cleverly guiding us with their paddles and sticks. Sometimes 
we stuck, then they went into the water, pushed, lifted, and 
started us again. AVe met other canoes returning, and being 
dragged up by the men. Some were going down like us with 

vii Borneo and Java 251 

three stone jars of quicksilver in each, very small things, but 
as much as two men could lift. 

At last we got out and walked again through the wonderful 
limestone forest and out to the common or clearing round 
Jambusam, where there was a long -forsaken antimony -mine. 
Mr. B. had kindly arranged for me to stay there, and had 
sent food and furniture to meet me. 

Mr. E. went up a mountain near and brought me down some 
grand trailing specimens of the largest of all pitcher-plants, which 
I festooned round the balcony by its yards of trailing stems. 
I painted a portrait of the largest, and my picture afterwards 
induced Mr. Veitch to send a traveller to seek the seeds, from 
which he raised plants and Sir Joseph Hooker named the 
species Nepenthes Northiana. These pitchers are often over a 
foot long, and richly covered with crimson blotches. 

Mr. E. took me to the entrance of a limestone cavern, and 
cleared a path for me ; but as we had few lights and it was 
very slippery, I stuck to my old rule of not going willingly 
anywhere where I could not see my feet. The ferns and 
mosses were in the greatest variety about there. One of the 
sterculia trees was loaded with orange bells, but without leaves, 
looking like a solid mass of colour against the green hillsideX 
Then I said good-bye to Mr. E., who did not think he should 
find another person to talk to about the wonders of the forest 
for years perhaps, no one caring there for the things around 
them ; and at Tegoro there was only one European besides 
himself. Poor little Mrs. E-., at the antimony-mines, really 
cried at losing sight of the one white woman she had seen for 
so long, and I lingered till the last day before returning to the 
Kajah's at Kuching. 

The next day I said good-bye to His Highness, who came 
on board to see me off at seven in the morning, like the real 
English gentleman he is, a quality which no amount of senti- 
nels presenting arms or yellow umbrellas can knock out of 
him. Mr. B. also went across to Singapore with old Captain 

252 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

Kirk, and we were a pleasant little party of three on deck. 
The weather was so calm and warm that we had our meals 
under the awning. Those two would not let me land in the 
ordinary way, but made me wait till the Company's boat fetched 
me, with a grand native in a gorgeous turban to look after my 
luggage, and put me into somebody's smart open carriage, 
which conveyed me with great dignity to Government House. 

Lady Jervois had sent to meet me by the last mail, and 
this one was before its time ; but she made me very welcome, 
and I stayed there till the Java steamer started a most com- 
fortable Messagerie boat with few passengers, but a most 
entertaining monkey belonging to the captain. It was entirely 
gentle, with an amazing amount of curiosity. Every man who 
would submit had all his pockets searched and the contents 
examined, tasted, and smelt one by one. My thimble puzzled 
him much. He could not get it off. He went from it to the 
middle finger of my other hand and found no thimble there. 
At last he gave the puzzle up in despair, and made up his mind 
it was a particular deformity of mine, having a silver tip to 
one of my fingers only. He used to take pinches of snuff out 
of a snuff-box, sneezing with great enjoyment afterwards ; and 
when a glass of water was given to him he would dip his hands 
in, then rub them over his poor wrinkled old face to cool 
it. I got quite fond of Jacko. He used to cross his arms, put 
his head on one side, and look as sentimental as a young 
Oxford Don. 

There was one Englishman only on board. He remarked 
that he thought it was very hard that the little beast should 
have the luxury of re-enjoying his dinner whenever he chose 
to take it out of that great cheek -pouch, thus having one 
pleasure more than human beings. He also contradicted me 
flatly when I talked of the Amherstia nolilis as a sacred plant of 
the Hindus. I said I thought Sir W. Hooker told me it was so, 
and he said Sir William had been a great botanist, but was not 
a Hindu scholar. I had made a mistake, and I began to look at 


Borneo and Java 253 

the little man with respect, and found he was Dr. Burnell, 
the famous Indian scholar and Judge of Tanjore, making a 
pilgrimage to Boro-Bodo during his short spring holiday ; so 
we became friends, and continued so till he died. I like a real 
contradiction when it has a reason behind it, and there were 
plenty of reasons in Dr. Burnell. 

When we reached the roads off Batavia we were transferred 
to a small steam-launch, which took us for a couple of miles 
through a long walled canal with sea on each side beyond the 
walls. It was said to be almost impassable in bad weather, and 
looked very Dutch and straight, full of barges with the sort 
of sails and rigging I had often seen in old Dutch pictures. 
At the Custom House my friends handed me over to the care 
of its Head, who would not look at my luggage, but told me to 
wait a little till the train started for Buitenzorg. After an 
hour, during which time I sat still on my trunk sketching boats 
and banana-trees, he returned to tell me the train had gone an 
hour ago, and there was no other till the next day; so he 
packed me and my trunks into the smallest of dog-carts, with a 
mite of a pony to draw it, which I expected to see lifted off its 
legs by the weight behind. 

It took some time to start the poor little beast off, but 
being once set going, he dashed at a furious pace all the way 
to the hotel, which consisted of a straggling collection of 
ground-floor rooms, with verandahs and sleeping men on rock- 
ing-chairs all round them in the lightest possible clothing. 
The landlady came out quite composedly in her night-gown, 
her hair down her back, and was very efficient and kind. 
I did not think so much of her husband, and suspected 
that "schnaps" would soon be the death of him. About five 
o'clock I put on my best dress and took my letter to the Pre- 
sident of the Council, M. van Eees, a most courteous apd 
agreeable man. His wife was in the hills, where he said I 
must go and see her, and he handed me back to the carriage 
as if I were a princess, and told the driver where to take me 

254 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

so as to have an idea of the outside of (Batavia. The fashion- 
able part in which I was is like one huge garden, with toy 
houses dotted about in it, half hidden amongst the trees, most 
of them being of one storey with Grecian porticoes as large as 
themselves, and verandahs all round. It is divided by many 
canals and roads crossing at right angles to one another. All 
" The World " was walking or driving about in the cool even- 
ing air, without cumbering themselves with hats or gloves. 
The ladies looked very nice, with natural flowers stuck into their 
hair. Everywhere in Java this habit prevails, and it is really 
sensible. What is the use of heating heads and hands with 
protection from the sun when it has gone oufc of sight ? Visits 
too are paid at that hour. If a family is "at home," lights 
are lit in the portico or verandah ; if not, nobody thinks of 
going. They never think of staying to dinner, which is the 
family supper, when all the small children of the family reign 
supreme. Dutch children are awful! Being much left to 
native nurses who give them their own way in everything, 
their manners are not improved by the constant society of the 
nurse's children, over whom they domineer much as they used 
to do in the old days of slavery. 

The roads are watered most systematically by natives, with 
two watering-pots suspended from the two ends of a bamboo 
on their shoulders; they run about as fast as they can go, 
guiding the pots with their hands. Every man in Java is 
obliged by law to water the ground in front of his own 
domain. The common Javanese men all wear a painted dish- 
cover on their heads. They have fine figures, but hideous 
faces, from the habit of stuffing tobacco and betel-nut between 
their lower lip and teeth, causing the former to project in a 
horrible way ; but they are honest good people. 

Batavia was a most unpleasant place to sleep in, full of 
heat, smells, noise, and mosquitoes. I started as soon as 
possible the next morning in the train for Buitenzorg, which, 
though only a few hundred feet above the sea, has pure cool 

vii Borneo and Java 255 

air at night. Every one (who is anybody) has a villa there, 
and merely goes to the city on business and as seldom as pos- 
sible. The old French landlady said she had been expecting 
me a long while, and gave me a cheerful little room with a 
lovely garden on each side, with such cocoa-nut, breadfruit,- 
and bananas that it was a real joy to sit still and look at them ; 
and I resolved to stay quiet for a month or more, and learn a 
little Malay before I went anywhere else. Mr. and Mrs. F., 
who lived close by in the most exquisite little garden that 
ever was seen, promised to make all easy for me both at 
Buitenzorg and on my future travels, and they abundantly 
fulfilled their promises. 

The order of everything in Java is marvellous; and, in spite 
of the strong rule of the Dutch, the natives have a happy, in- 
dependent look one does not see in India. Java is one magni- 
ficent garden of luxuriance, surpassing Brazil, Jamaica, and 
Sarawak all combined, with the grandest volcanoes rising out 
of it. These are covered with the richest forests, and have a 
peculiar alpine vegetation on their summits. One can ride 
up to the very tops, and traverse the whole island on good 
roads by an excellent system of posting arranged by Govern- 
ment. There are good rest-houses at the end of every day's 
journey, where you are taken in and fed at a fixed tariff of 
prices. Moreover, travellers are entirely safe in Java, which 
is no small blessing. Mrs. F. used to drive me about in the 
very ea"rly morning, and show me lovely views and forest 
scenes, with tidy little native houses hidden among the trees 
arid gardens, made of the neatest matting of rattan or bamboo, 
with patterns woven in black, white, and red, and slight bam- 
boo frames hung round with bird-cages. These houses gener- 
ally have sago -palms, bananas, cocoa-nuts, as well as coco, 
coffee plants, and breadfruit trees, belonging to them. The 
sago-palms were just then in full flower, with great bunches of 
pinkish coral branches coming out of the centre of their crowns. 
The fruit when ripe is like green satin balls quilted with red silk 

256 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

The famous Botanic Garden was only a quarter of an hour's 
walk from the hotel, and I worked there every day, but soon 
found it was of no use going there after noon, as it rained regu- 
larly every day after one o'clock, coming down in sheets and 
torrents all in a moment. On one occasion I was creeping 
home with my load, without the slightest idea of a coming 
storm, when down it came, and in five minutes the road was 
a river. I had to wade through some places a foot deep in 
water, when a kind lady saw me from her window, and sent 
her servant running after me with an umbrella. 

The Governor- General asked me to dinner in his grand 
palace in the midst of the garden. There were several people 
there, and some great men with fine orders on their coats ; and 
when a little dry shy -mannered man offered me his arm to 
take me in to dinner, I held back, expecting to see the 
Governor-General go first ; but he persisted in preceding the 
others, and I made up my mind that Dutch etiquette sent the 
biggest people in last, only taking in slowly that my man was 
his Excellency after all. We ought not to be led by appear- 
ances, for he was very intelligent, and talked excellent 
English. But as Madame de Lonsdale (a Spanish lady) only 
understood French, the conversation was mostly carried on in 
that language, and I floundered about in my usual " nervous 

There was another hotel in the place, with a most magni- 
ficent view from its terrace, which I painted, looking over 
miles of splendid plantations of cocoa-nut and every kind of 
fruit-tree, with patches of rice and other grain between, lead- 
ing up through grand forests to the most stately volcano, with 
a wide river winding underneath, full of people wading, wash- 
ing, and fishing. Those amphibious people always prefer to 
go through the water rather than over it on bridges, and they 
go in, clothes and all, in the most decent way. Men and 
women dress almost alike, in all the brightest colours, with 
rich Indian scarves thrown round them, and always the in- 


Borneo and Java 257 

separable umbrella. One sees perfectly naked children going 
along with an umbrella, or sometimes balancing a banana leaf 
as a substitute on their heads. They delight in flying kites of 
different kinds. Quite old men used to come and practise that 
amusement on an open space near my window every day, with 
their gray beards thrown up in the air, and their respectable 
turbans falling off their heads. The studies from that window 
were endless in their variety of colour, everything seeming 
brighter than in other places, even the fruits. One rather 
mawkish variety of the jamboa (myrtle) was pear-shaped, and 
of the brightest pink and scarlet colour as well as white. 
These used to be threaded on bits of cane, tied in bunches, 
and sold with bananas and oranges, in baskets slung from the 
ends of a bamboo over a native's shoulders, the native wearing 
a grass-green jacket, scarlet sash and turban, and crimson sarong 
or petticoat. No colours were too bright in the north of Java. 
In the south, indigo-blue was the prevailing tint, a fashion which 
had probably come over from South India with the Hindus 
who settled there many centuries ago. 

No Malay uses his hands if he can help it ; the smallest 
weight is put on the head, or slung to the bamboo on his 
shoulder, which wears quite a deep groove in the flesh. The 
nurses are also very gay, with lovely Indian scarves thrown 
over their heads and shoulders, often interwoven with gold, 
and the children are carried on their shoulders or hips very 
easily and gracefully. 

The Dutch food in Java was peculiar, but good, the prin- 
cipal meal being at twelve o'clock, when one found on every 
plate a mountain of well-boiled loose rice. To that one added 
chicken bones, rissoles, sausages, cutlets, poached eggs, salt 
fish, curry sauce, stewed bananas, and a dozen other incon- 
gruous things, and ate them all together with a spoon. They 
had also beef-steaks and potatoes in some places, and dessert ; 
but the former was often of buffalo flesh, which is blue and 
black, not tempting, and one had little desire for more food 


258 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

after the first mixture. The evening meal was a much lighter 
one. In the afternoon at four o'clock cups of tea were taken 
into every room, and the world dressed itself up to pay visits 
and walk or drive. The baths, too, in those regions are taken 
in an odd but very agreeable manner, in marble baths with 
the water coming from a spout overhead, and running out at 
the bottom, merely splashing one all over, with a bit of per- 
forated wood to stand on. It refreshes one much more than 
soaking in water. There were abundance of baths in the hotel, 
and they could be taken at any hour. 

The Botanic Garden was a world of wonders. Such a 
variety of the different species was there ! The plants had 
been there so long that they grew as if in their native woods 
every kind of rattan, palm, pine, or arum. The latter are most 
curious in their habits and singular power of emitting heat. 
All the gorgeous water-lilies of the world were collected in a 
lake in front of the palace. The Director was most kind in 
letting me have specimens of all the grand things I wanted to 
paint. The palms alone, in flower and fruit, would have easily 
employed a lifetime. The blue thunbergia and other creepers 
ran to the tops of the highest trees, sending down sheets of 
greenery and lovely flowers. 

The view from the bridge in the very High Street of 
Buitenzorg was the richest scene I ever saw. A rushing river 
running deep down between high banks, covered with a tangle 
of huge bamboos, palms, tree-ferns, breadfruit, bananas, and 
papaw-trees, matted together with creepers, every individual 
plant seeming finer and fresher than other specimens of the 
same sort, and the larger such plants were, the grander their 
curves. Then they had the most exquisite little basket-work 
dwellings hidden away amongst them, and in the distance was 
a bamboo bridge a sort of magnified human spider's web. 
Looking straight along the street from the bridge was another 
pretty view little shops full of gaily coloured things, such as 
scarlet jamboa fruit, yellow bananas, pomelas, melons, pines, 


Borneo and Java 259 

and hot peppers of the brightest reds and greens. Pretty birds 
in bamboo cages, people in every shade of purple, scarlet, pink, 
torquoise-blue, emerald-green, and lemon-yellow; small copper- 
coloured children carrying all their garments on the tops of 
their heads, grass-cutters carrying inverted cones of green 
fastened to their bamboos and almost hiding them. Long 
avenues of huge banyan trees bordered the principal drive to 
the palace, with large bird's-nest ferns growing on their 
branches, each tree forming a small plantation of itself, with 
its hanging roots and offsets from the branches. Herds of 
spotted deer used to rest in the shade under these trees, and 
parties of the great crested ground-pigeon, as big as turkeys, 
were always to be found there. It was a delightful place to 
work in, even in the heat of the day. 

The market was a very busy one, full of odd groups and 
queer things, and if one bought anything there it was done 
up in a bit of banana-leaf, pinned together with a spine of the 
wild palm, and tied with a strip of its leaf. I watched some 
common coolies getting their breakfast at a Chinaman's stall, 
out of fifty little saucers full of odds and ends, taking a pinch 
from each, with a rice cake to put the morsels on. Fingers 
were their only tools, and by the end of the day the saucers 
must have had a strong fingerish flavour, I should think. 
Chinamen in Java tucked up their tails and wore gray wide- 
awakes an inch too big for their heads, and did not look 
picturesque. The Malays often wore hats as big as targets, 
and coloured like them with all the colours of the rainbow. 
More dandified characters wore highly polished dish-covers, 
gaudily painted, over their turbans or head-handkerchiefs. 
The servants of great people stuck glazed chimney-pot hats 
with cockades on the tops of their bright-coloured turbans, 
which had a very ridiculous effect. 

After more than a month at Buitenzorg I left my heaviest 
trunk and started for Batavia, with a big letter in my pocket 
from the Governor-General to all officials, native and Dutch, 

260 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

asking them to feed and lodge me, and pass me on wherever I 
wished to go. I found the hotel at Batavia quite full, but the 
landlord and landlady made me live in their rooms and eat 
with them, most kindly putting me up for the night " some- 
how," and charging nothing. I made a pilgrimage to see the 
Dutch flower -painter, Madame van Nooten. She was very 
poor, and the Government had helped her to publish a large 
volume of prints, oddly and badly selected and not over-well 
done, but she was an interesting and most enthusiastic person, 
and she pressed me to come and stay with her. I bought a 
copy of her book and sent it home to Kew (it being far too 
big to be kept in a flat), but the ship was wrecked and it 
never reached its destination. 

I also went down to the business part of Batavia to Bryce's 
shop, where I was told I could "buy anything," but found they 
only sold things wholesale, so I was reduced to making little 
purchases from the Chinaman pedlar as usual. I had a letter 
to Mr. P., who scolded me for not giving it before, and made 
me promise to go and stay up at his country-house with Mrs. 
P. on my return. I found there was a good deal of division 
between " sets " of people in Java, and that one set was very 
jealous of another thus I saw only the set to which Mr. and 
Mrs. F. belonged. 

There were three kinds of public carriage in Batavia a 
comfortable open one, which was expensive and too heavy for 
the small ponies which dragged it ; secondly, a kind of dog- 
cart, which was light and uncomfortable, without any rest for 
the back, but it was the fashionable cab of the place ; thirdly, 
a very light and comfortable car, with a seat behind the 
driver facing the horses, and a back to it, but that conveyance 
was unfashionable, and considered not " the thing " to go in. 
Mrs. F. had kindly arranged with the captain of my ship to 
call for me at six the next morning and take me with him on 
board. He was a great big laughing young fellow, and rolled 
about the deck in loose white trousers, a shirt, and a meer- 

vii Borneo and Java 261 

schaum in his mouth, but was thoroughly efficient. The ship 
was full of great people, three Eesidents (Lord-Lieutenants of 
Counties) and a Colonel of Engineers going with his men to 
make a railway. Most of these people talked English, and 
most had large families of disorderly children and servants. 
One perfectly round old gentleman used to sing songs and tell 
stories to the children, and got nearly torn to pieces by them. 
Most of the people on board were of the same shape and of 
the Pickwick type of countenance. Their loose trousers were 
made out of the national sarongs, whose enormous patterns 
and gaudy colours looked strangely out of character round 
their short legs, the upper half of their dress being a flowing 
white shirt (not tucked in at the waist). They had no stock- 
ings, and heelless slippers which went flop-flop about the deck. 
The ladies dressed in the same fashion, only the sarong 
was put on like a petticoat. They were generally very^ 

At Samarang every one but myself and the captain went 
on shore, but as I was to return that way I preferred staying 
quiet and painting the glorious view of its harbour and the 
five volcanoes from the deck. There was no snow, but they 
were all about 10,000 feet high, and their slope was steeper 
than that of Etna or Teneriffe. One smaller one was still 
smoking, the others were quiet. It was a wonderful scene, for 
those mountains are not the mere satellites of a great volcano, 
but each a perfectly separate one of great size. The country 
at their feet seemed magnificently cultivated and peopled. 
Soerabaja is much more fitted to be the capital than Batavia. 
It is a very busy place, with a lovely landlocked harbour in 
which the biggest ships could anchor close to the shore. Both 
it and the streets were full of traffic and movement. 

I only stayed a night at the hotel, then Mrs. F.'s nephew, 
the town-clerk of the place, took me off to his house in the 
suburbs (where everybody had their villas), and gave me a 
delicious room in his garden. His wife was most hospitable. 

262 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

They were the first people who had really shown that virtue, 
though many talked of it. The Dutch are generally so 
taken up with the idea of money-making that it does not 
occur to them to entertain strangers, though they would 
always be willing to help one if told how to do it ; but Mrs. 
S. EL made me quite at home. I promised to return straight 
to her house after my expedition to the mountains. I drove 
from their house "post" with four horses, which went full 
gallop and were changed every three or four miles without a 
moment's loss of time (as well as their coachman and groom, 
to whom I always gave a fee of twopence each), through an 
almost continuous avenue of tamarind trees, which met over- 
head, shading the long straight road most deliciously. This 
was mended and swept as smooth as a carpet, the bullock- 
carts and heavy traffic being forced to go on a parallel road 
outside the trees. 

I stayed three days in an excellent hotel at Pasoeroean, 
which had a civil landlord (who charged it in the bill). From 
hence I made an expedition to Blauwe Water, the site of an 
old Hindu temple, where there were some hundreds of tame 
monkeys in the trees, protected by Government. Everybody 
who visited the place took fruit for them, and when they heard 
a carriage coming they came down to receive the new-comer, 
and with much chattering and disputing divided the spoil, then 
swarmed up into the branches again. It was an odd sight, and 
the stillness which reigned between the arrivals of the carriages 
was very curious. I began a sketch of the old Hindu temple 
ruins and tank. After an hour or two, feeling hungry, I took 
a biscuit out of my pocket, which I began to eat leisurely as I 
went on with my work I was disturbed by a pull at my 
dress, and found a huge monkey sitting close beside me, look- 
ing reproachfully at me with the expression of " How can you 
be so greedy ? Why don't you give me a bit ? " Of course he 
did get it, and then departed and hid himself in the leaves 
overhead. They had one old king among them a very big 


Borneo and Java 263 

monkey, who always helped himself first, and allowed none of 
the others to interfere with him. 

My polite landlord would not let the banker do anything for 
me. Oh no ! He would himself drive me to the end of the road 
and see me mounted on horseback. So we drove to Paserpan, 
past magnificent crops of corn, rice, millet, mandioca beans, 
tobacco, and sugar-cane ; and after sitting awhile on rocking- 
chairs under the chief's verandah my little horse was brought^ 
out (a real beauty), but with a man's saddle covered with 
velvet, brass-headed nails, and embroidery. I do not enjoy 
that sort of seat, but the pony carried me beautifully, and the 
way was all interesting, though the poor coolies who carried 
my trunks found paper and paints very heavy, and some sat 
down and declared themselves " sakit." We wasted a couple 
of hours trying to find others, and at last succeeded ; they 
were all nice good-humoured fellows, with whom I felt quite \ 
safe. After a while we mounted up to the region of coffee, 
and finally to that of cinchona and tea, and all manner of 
European vegetables, which were sent down every morning for 
the poor gasping people on the hot plains to eat. My land- 
lord at Tosari was very angry with the other for not having 
taken the trouble to telegraph to him, to send down his horse 
with a side-saddle and strong hill-coolies for the luggage. He 
was a very nice person, originally a civil engineer. His jolly 
fat wife and children were all most friendly and kind to me, 
and after the other guests left I took my meals in their private 

Tosari is 6000 feet above the sea. Its season was over, and 
it was cold at night, and generally wrapped up in clouds. The 
scenery is very curious, the steep volcanic hillside ploughed 
up into great furrows from top to bottom, often 1000 feet deep, 
and the tops a few yards across. One could talk to people on 
the opposite hill- slope, though it would take hours of hard 
scramble or roundabout paths to reach them. Those steep 
slopes were cultivated in the most marvellous way. I never 

264 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

met such an industrious people, and where other crops are 
impossible, the gaps are filled by tree-ferns and almost alpine 
flowers marigolds, nasturtiums, balsams, guelder-roses, rasp- 
berries, great forget-me-nots, violets, sorrel, etc. The country 
was splendid beyond the casuarina trees, which are tall and 
transparent like poplars, and invaluable for foregrounds, as 
they cut the long horizon-line of sea, plain, and sky, and do 
not hide the landscape. The people (like all other moun- 
taineers) were honest and friendly, and every spur had a 
village perched on its sharpest point. The politeness of every 
one was overwhelming. As I was mooning along collecting 
flowers one day, the chief of the district rode up, with half-a- 
dozen wild men in attendance on bare-backed ponies. They 
all dismounted and made bows while I passed on, then re- 
mounted and disappeared. 

My good landlord himself accompanied me on the great 
expedition of the place, to see the Bromo volcano and Sand 
Sea. He said there were wild horses feeding on the Sand Sea 
which might be troublesome to my little horse, so he put his gun 
over his shoulder on the chance of shooting some small birds 
for me. We started over the white frost in the early morning, 
and the only bird he shot at was a peacock an enormous one, 
which flew across the road with a great yell and fluster, and 
I hope was none the worse for my landlord's small-shot. The 
Sand Sea was the original crater of the Bromo, which fell in 
and sent up that flat plain of sand, like a moat round the 
present crater, surrounded on all sides by high rock walls 800 
or 1000 feet high, down which we walked or slid with our 
ponies following us. Then we crossed the sand for some 
miles, and climbing to the edge of the present Bromo crater, 
looked down on the sulphur and smoke within. It is con- 
sidered very holy by the 8000 Hindus who still exist in that 
southern end of the island, and who go on a particular day 
every year and throw chickens in, which generally fly out 
again, and are caught and eaten. In early times human sacri- 

vii Borneo and Java 265 

fices were made there, then animals ; now these rites are next 
to nothing. We mounted up on the other side of the Sand 
Sea cliffs, and got a view of the cone and smoke of the Smeroe 
volcano over the other mountains, the only really active one, 
and the highest, it being 13,000 feet above the sea. 

We rode on to the first village, and had a fine view of the 
sea and all the eastern end of the island. My landlord was a 
most entertaining companion, speaking perfect English, and 
knowing the whole place well. He and his wife were both 
musicians. They had a piano and harmonium, and sang really 
well. He also did a good deal of doctoring, giving ten grains 
of quinine or an electric shock from his machine in exchange 
for a fat chicken. This the natives considered a fair exchange. 
The place was constantly in the clouds, but it seldom rained, 
and the air was dry. The native houses were all made of 
bamboo, which was first soaked for some days in water, in 
order to drown the small weevil which lives in the wood. 
Then it was used in a thousand ways. The roofs, floors, 
indeed the whole house and frame were made of it. It was 
split, flattened, and plaited into mats, which formed the walls 
of the houses, and it always looked clean, neat, and polished. 
The three children of the house were real beauties, the girl of 
thirteen like the fairest woman Rubens ever painted, with 
golden wavy hair and an exquisite complexion, which was 
taken no care of. She was out all day long without a 
hat. It was real genuine beauty, and wanted no dress- 
ing. She and her brother employed themselves in making 
bamboo cages and catching birds to put in them. They knew 
a little English, and the youngest child went by the name of 
Klein-baby. He was a real pickle, and used to perch himself 
on the edge of my window, sit on his heels, and chatter Dutch 
at me for an hour at a time, and never bored me. He wanted 
no answers, and never would believe I did not understand 
him. The cinchona is a tiresome crop to grow, as it takes 
seven years before it is fit to bark. Some people had tried 

266 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

taking half off for some years running, but it did not answer 
so well. At Tosari they cut the whole down, when each tree 
was worth about ten shillings. They were planted at about a 
yard and a half from one another, with tea underneath to take 
their place when cut. 

It seemed like leaving home again to come away from those 
kind people. I had been told in the plain the road I wished 
to go was full of difficulties and dangers, but I found none. 
First we mounted up to the hoar-frost and view of the smoking 
Smeroe, then down a valley of ferns and rushing water, 
through miles of old coffee plantations all left to grow their 
own way, in the Java fashion, with erythrina trees covered 
with their coral-like flowers to shade them, and numbers of 
natives creeping about under them collecting the berries, sing- 
ing and talking to one another. Once a great toucan came 
floundering along, almost knocking against me with its 
awkward wings and huge crest. Beautiful blue birds and 
butterflies came constantly up the path. We stopped half an 
hour for luncheon, and the good little horse carried me all day 
without any food most merrily, till we got on the plain and a 
straight hard road, when we all became weary of the last five 
miles over it. 

At last we got to Pakis, and rode to the house of the chief, 
with a letter from my Tosari landlord asking him to send me 
on to Malang. He was a model Javanese, and I felt quite 
safe with him ; paid my men and horses, and sent them back. 
I sat myself calmly down in the universal rocking-chair under 
the verandah, or rather the steeple-shaped roof which covered 
the open Court House. The chief informed me I should be 
sent on soon, and a good deal more in a more than unknown 
tongue ; for in that part of Java they talked Javanese, not 
Malay, and the former language I had not even attempted to 
learn. Then he went and stood in the road, looking up and 
down, as if he expected a pumpkin drawn by six griffins to 
come round the corner. He also sent men galloping off in 


Borneo and Java 267 

different directions on their toy ponies. A big cock came and 
sat down beside me, and shared the bit of bread I was eating, 
giving contented clucks at every crumb I threw him, allowing 
me to stroke his broad back as if he were a cat. People in 
Java delight in taming birds. Every house is hung with 
cages, and one sees the children walking about with Java 
sparrows sitting on their heads and shoulders, a string tied 
round their leg. Cages of doves are hung up among the 
feathery foliage of the tamarind trees, with cords and pulleys 
to get them up and down by, and are supposed to attract wild 
birds to build and perch near them. 

Presently they brought me a delicious cup of tea, with a 
tortoiseshell cover over it, and a bottle of antique biscuits 
from Eeading ; and after a while the lady of the house re- 
turned, and I was put with my trunks into her carriage a sort 
of big wheelbarrow with a roof over it and no seats, the 
driver sitting on the shafts. It was lined with red flannel, 
and I stretched myself at full length, and rather enjoyed its 
hard floor after my long day's ride. A loose horse trotted on 
in front of us during the first post, and then was put in the 
place of the original, which went home. The trunks were 
packed on another horse. All this was done for nothing, the 
chief writing to my landlord at Malang that as there was no 
post-carriage he had sent me in his own. Mr. MacL. received 
me most kindly. His father had left the Highlands in 1804, 
and he called himself a Javanese ; but in spite of his untidy, 
disreputable exterior, was a true Scotch gentleman. He was 
once a millionaire, but had become very poor, and had many 
trades, amongst others that of keeping a boarding-house, which 
he did not in the least understand. It was full of business^ 
men, a quiet, depressed set, with wives and untidy families, 
who got their food from the kitchen and ate it anywhere. 
Mr. MacL. took me himself to see the Resident with my 
Governor-General's letter. 

He sent me about in his own great open carriage and four 

268 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

horses, first to Singosari, where I saw some huge and hideous 
old Hindu idols, half human, half animal, carved elaborately 
out of a stone which is not found in that end of the island, and 
sitting among palms, ferns, and frangipani trees. The whole 
neighbourhood of Malang abounds in Hindu ruins, the richest 
tropical vegetation, running water, and fevers. Once while 
painting in my room I was called out to see the young " Con- 
troller " of Batoe, a very limp young man in spectacles, who 
said the Resident had told him I wanted to go to Ngantang. 
He was going to conduct the Regent (native prince) there in a 
day or two, and would take me also if I liked. Could I start 
at once? Of course I could. I knew Ngantang was called 
the gem of all Java. So I bundled all my things into the 
wardrobe, gave the key to Mr. MacL., and started with next to 
no luggage in the carriage and four, with my new friend, who 
was very much like Lord Dundreary, minus the whiskers. 
His English was well-intentioned but peculiar. He "feared 
there would be no eat in Batoe/' but I found his house and 
food both perfection ; he only wanted a good wife to make his 
home a model. He had masses of roses in his garden, and 
beautiful hills beyond ; and, to his great delight, I began 
sketching at once, while he tumbled in and out of the verandah, 
watching, no easy task, as he was so short-sighted; he never saw 
anything three inches beyond his nose. He was thoroughly 
happy, having put himself into a light and flowing attire peculiar 
to Dutch officials in Java loose pink cotton trousers, white 
flowing shirt, collarless and cuffless, no stockings, and heelless 
slippers, rather startling to a stranger at first, but I had got 
quite accustomed to it. The ladies were even more untidy, 
and literally wore a nightdress, with their hair hanging down 
their back, till sunset. 

The Controller took some hours to write a long letter on 
two sides of a slate (sucking his pencil between every few 
words), to beg a particularly good horse from a native chief 
for me to ride the next day. He had brought a lady's saddle 

viz Borneo and Java 269 

- -" i 
from Malang with him. The next morning he gave a great 

gasp of relief as I jumped into it from the ground, for he had 
a sort of horrible dread that he should have to lift me on, and 
did not know how to do it. Poor fellow ! He was in the 
highest degree of nervous anxiety about the Regent's recep- 
tion and his responsibility for it, for that personage was very 
great indeed, descended from many generations of native 
princes, and a " knighted Sir of Holland," my host told me. 
So I thought it kind to take myself out of his way early, and 
rode on ahead, with a mounted official before and behind to 
guard me. They wore big " uglies " over their turbans, red 
jackets and waistcoats au naturel, with daggers stuck into 
their sashes behind, hitching up the red jackets, and their 
great toes stuck in through the stirrup, like dark people all 
over the world. The whole road was crowded with people 
expecting the Regent, in holiday dress, gay with colour. 
When they saw my red-jackets they thought he was coming, 
dismounted, and forced their animals into the bushes and 
ditches, squatting down themselves, and even pretending to 
pray at me with their two lifted hands. They were rather 
disgusted at seeing only a woman. 

I went through miles and miles of coffee covered with 
white bloom. In that one district alone 1,300,000 Ibs. of 
coffee had been sold to Government that year, so that every 
one was in great spirits. Then we came to beautiful winding 
valleys, with the river far below like a torrent, often quite 
hidden by the jungle of bamboos and other green things over 
it. I never saw anything more lovely. At last the valley 
widened, and we reached Ngantang and the Chief's house, 
where there was a great gathering to greet the Regent, and a 
wonderful orchestra to entertain me while I sat in the open 
verandah waiting for him. Two large frames like bed- 
stretchers held each sixteen tin kettles, forming two very im- 
perfect octaves. There was also a kind of viol of metal plates. 
Both these were struck with bamboo sticks, and there was 

270 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP, 

also an odd collection of drums. They gave me tea, and the 
usual bottle of biscuits, and a nice airy room the floor of mud, 
the walls and ceiling of bamboo-matting, so closely plaited 
that I could not find a chink of light through it. There were 
four such rooms, with clean beds, snow-white linen, and mos- 
quito-curtains. In all provincial capitals of Java there is such 
a house for official people to lodge at, and with my letter I 
had a right to use it also. 

After about two hours the great people arrived, the old 
Regent the very picture of good-nature. He wore a black 
wide-awake over his turban and big gold spectacles. He was 
a thorough gentleman in manner, and very popular, insisting 
on putting me into the place of honour at dinner and supper. 
We had the usual rice, with so many curious little dishes to 
eat with it that they seemed to require numbering and a cata- 
logue, but I did as the others did I took a pinch of each, and 
found the food very entertaining. The thing I missed in 
Java was bread. It is seldom eaten, very costly, and only 
brought when called for, so I tried to learn to do without it 

The forests round Ngantang were full of curious things 
parasitic trees with extraordinary outside -roots, buttresses, 
and leaves looped over the branches. There were clearings full 
of coffee and tobacco, and above all, the Kloet volcano and 
other hills clothed up to their tops with rich woods. I spent 
a delightful morning and evening wandering amongst it all, 
perfectly alone, while the great people held their court in the 
verandah. Most of my return ride was made between them, 
the Regent on a pretty little cream-coloured horse looking 
the image of Pickwick, and bringing constantly to the tip of 
my tongue the sentiment, "Bless his old gaiters," for he also 
wore those appendages on horseback. The young Controller 
on my other side rode a miniature Javanese pony, and 
almost touched the ground on each side with his feet. We 
had a great train of attendant chiefs behind us, while the 


Borneo and Java 271 

people who had collected in the road to see us pass fell down 
like packs of cards as we came up. The lower they went, the 
higher their great man rose above them and was magnified ; 
so many of them went flat down in the ditch. About half- 
way they turned off by another road to visit a different district, 
and I went on with my two red- jackets, the Regent's Head 
Man, as an especial honour, in front ; and after a mile or two 
I met an Englishman ! an engineer who was mapping out the 
country. He said he had heard of me, and it was a real treat 
to have a talk with a countrywoman, so he turned and rode 
a while with me, and let his tongue go, then said he felt 
better, and good-bye. It was a pleasant meeting for us 

I stayed two more nights at Batoe, and left my host a 
portrait of his house. The Regent, who was staying with his 
son-in-law, a chief near, came with his principal wife and a 
daughter to pay us a visit in state, drawn by four horses, 
with betel-nut, umbrella-carriers, etc. How the old man 
laughed, cried, chewed, and slobbered, all at the same time ! 
The wife was a daughter of the people, who had once sold fruit 
at the road-side. She was very small, but her manners were 
quite easy, and she talked sensibly, my host said. She had 
no children, but the old gentleman had a moderate supply 
of other wives, and thirty-four children, and was said to be 
rich enough to provide for a great many more. The lady 
wore a Paris hat and chignon, but the rest of her costume was 
like that of the ordinary native. Such visiting seemed very 
liberal on the part of a Muhammadan, but the Dutch officials 
in Java had made themselves generally trusted and respected 
by the upper-class natives, who seemed everywhere on the 
best terms with them. Then my host took me back to! 
Malang, and the Resident, M. de Vogel, came and called on me, 
and looked over my work. He was just like an English 
gentleman, knew every place and plant, and arranged to send 
me the next day in his carriage to Djampang with four post- 

272 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

horses, which went like the wind (for which I paid nothing), 
changing every three or four miles. 

At the first post I found my old friend the Chief of Pakis 
waiting for me, who made me signs I was to follow him, pre- 
tending to pull off his jacket and uttering the magic word 
" water." He took me down to see a beautiful blue lake and 
bathing place, and showed me the spring bubbling up through 
it; then conducted me back to the carriage, mounted his mare, 
and cantered on beside me to Pakis, where horses were changed; 
then brought me on to Mr. Netcher's, the Controller of Djam- 
pang. He was a descendant of the famous painter of white 
satin petticoats, and a very nice and intelligent man of the 
world, a great contrast to my late kind host. His wife was a 
victim to fever. He borrowed a spirited little horse from a 
neighbouring chief (which went well after the usual commence- 
ment of standing on its hind-legs and kicking out behind at 
starting), and sent me with five attendants to see and sketch 
the beautiful little temple of Kidal. The luxuriance of the 
bamboos and palms was even greater than any I had seen else- 
where. The rivers and waterfalls were surrounded with ideal 
ferneries and huge-leaved plants. Both the temple of Kidal 
and that of Djampang (close to the Controller's house) are 
small, but perfectly covered with the richest and finest carv- 
ings, quite like cameo-work of pure Indian designs. They are 
almost smothered in foliage, grown over with ferns and lyco- 
podiums, and have small tanks and springs of water near 

My poor fever-stricken hostess appeared in the evening, a 
mere hopeless skeleton-woman, who took cod-liver oil, cream, 
and enormous quantities of food, beer, wine, etc., but never 
got fatter, she said. The next day she was pretty well, and 
her husband took me for a glorious ride and walk up and 
down the steep spurs of the Smeroe, followed by about twenty 
chiefs. They had an idea that if anything were to happen to 
a white person in their district some dreadful misfortune would 

vii Borneo and Java 273 

happen to them, so they always followed him about like dogs, 
watching every step he took. My little horse stood twice on 
its hind-legs, so it was led all the way by a chief on either 
side, and when I got off to walk they kept close to me, ready 
to pick me up if I tripped, and seemed to expect me to throw 
myself down every steep bank, though it would have been 
difficult, with the stout bamboo-railings and good roads, to 
come to any harm. On the top of every ridge was a village 
and chief's house, where we sometimes rested and took tea all 
round, including our numerous followers, who squatted in a 
semicircle in front of us. If we stopped on a hill to breathe, 
they all squatted on their heels round us, as it is disrespectful to 
stand in the presence of Government officials, or to allow their 
heads to be on the same level as ours. 

We went through glorious scenery deep dells full of ferns 
of endless variety, anthurium leaves nearly a yard long, and 
higher than myself ; then through endless plantations of coffee- 
trees, pollards, but growing naturally to the height of twenty 
feet, they were thirty years old. The best coffee was said to be 
picked out by a little wild cat or racoon, which eats the fleshy 
part and leaves the berries on the ground to be picked up and 
sold. At Djampang many of the fine old forest-trees had been 
left to shade the coffee ; some varieties of banyan were very 
curious. We saw a crowd of monkeys in one tree. One of 
these creatures made a jump which might almost be called a 
flight. It was a land of jumping or flying creatures lizards, 
frogs, foxes, and even spiders flying, or seeming to do so. I 
saw a huge spider turn and fly at a man who was trying to 
catch it. He was not frightened (though it was said to be 
poisonous), but got hold of all its legs in a bunch behind, so 
that it could do him no harm. 

On my return to Malang, Mr. MacL. arranged that I should 
go back to Soerabaja by the direct road, fifty miles in a country 
cart for fifteen guelders ; the post would have cost eighty- 
five, and I preferred this mode of travelling, as I should see 


274 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

more of the country. The carriage was a long covered 
machine on two wheels, with no seat but a hard board-flooring, 
on which I stretched my poor old bones, setting my back 
against my trunk. The cart had springs and two capital 
ponies to drag it, but these were so small that I wondered how 
they ever kept on their legs when I got in. The driver sat on his 
heels in front. I enjoyed going slowly and stopping to rest 
often, when I could sketch the people in the little wayside 
places ; but after the first half of the way my driver got tired 
(not his horses), and tried to sell me to every carriage he 
passed, but none of them would take me on as cheaply as he 
wanted, so he had to go on, grumbling all the way. At sun- 
set, when we were resting at a roadside tea-house, another 
cart came up also to rest, containing a young German, and as 
neither he nor I had met any other Europeans all day we had 
a grand talk, when he found I " could Deutsch," and he gave 
me some Rhine wine out of a long-necked genuine bottle which 
was most delicious. Those native tea-houses are very con- 
venient ; all sorts of nice rice- and corn-cakes with eggs and 
tea could always be bought there, and the people in them were 
friendly and kind. 

When the moon rose the German and I went on our dif- 
ferent ways, my driver grumbling so incessantly that at last I 
stopped him before a brightly-lighted verandah, went through 
the garden up to it, and asked a lady and gentleman sitting 
there what language they could speak. They were most 
kind and hospitable in French, and the gentleman came out 
and ordered my coachman roughly to go on to his destination, 
and not to bother me by his grumbling. He said the horses 
were all right ; the man was only lazy and in want of a scold- 
ing. After that he went on quite gaily, singing (as they call 
the tremendous noise natives make in their throats when 
happy !). The moon was bright, and the bananas, palms and 
breadfruit trees looked lovely with all the neat little houses. 
The long suburbs of the great city were as light as day, and 

VIT Borneo and Java 275 

by about half-past eleven I had guided my coachman through 
all the right streets to the house of my friends, to find every 
one asleep and the lights all out! I wandered about after 
paying my man, knocking at doors and windows in vain, and 
prepared to sleep on my trunks under the verandah. I must do 
my driver the justice to say he would not leave me alone there, 
but determined to stay too till some one came, and squatted 
down by his horses to wait. I was tired of rubbing my 
edges off against that old portmanteau, so went to the great 
verandah to get a rocking-chair, and found the natives sleeping 
there. After some kicking and shouting the magic word 
" Ingus " they roused up and went in search of my key. At 
the same moment Mrs. S. H. drove home from a party and 
welcomed me most heartily. She had told her servants to 
keep a light in my room and expect me, but these town-people 
were not like the mountaineers, and did nothing when the eye 
of the mistress was off them. 

It was nice to wake up in a comfortable room the next 
morning, and to find the little charcoal-heating machine on 
the table outside, with its excellent pot of coffee and milk on 
the top, and pretty china cups. I felt almost friendly even 
to the seven children with eyes all on their finger-ends, who 
swarmed in and out all day with their black attendants and 
dogs. Their poor father was oppressed with work, and used 
to come back half-dead every night from his hot office in the 
city, and must have been more bored by the weight of such a 
lot of unmannered babies than any one else ; but he escaped the 
midday meal, which was like a scene at the Zoo, and did not 
improve one's appetite. My hostess lived in disorder all day, 
and never went out till it was nearly dark. She said there 
was no beauty in the place (which she never looked at by 
daylight). I found much to admire along the edge of the fine 
river, full of strangely coloured barges, shaded by palms and 
fine trees, with picturesque native as well as Dutch houses 
interspersed, and grand distant volcanoes peeping over them. 

276 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

Of course every one drove along the same road of an 

One saw odd collections of people, big Chinamen riding 
small ponies with their feet barely off the ground, and gorgeous 
native princes with gilt umbrellas held high over their heads 
by servants squatting behind, not to shelter them from the 
sun (which had long sunk behind the horizon), but to show 
their rank. They had noble English horses and gorgeous 
liveried servants, with brightly-coloured sarongs, and hats like 
shields or dish-covers elaborately gilt and painted on their 
heads over their turbans, and tied with a cloth under their 
chins as if they had the toothache. They kept flocks of geese 
in all the gardens round the houses in Soerabaja, as the noise 
they made was said to drive off all snakes ! But the weather 
was too hot for enjoyment down by the sea, so I took the 
next steamer and returned to Samarang, where the captain 
was good enough to land x me and put me in a carriage, telling 
it to take me to M 'Neil's. Instead of to the bank, it took me to 
the manager's house a splendid villa with marble floors, and 
Japanese pots of roses and carnations all round the verandah. 
A nice English nurse came out and told me master was getting 
up and would soon come. I felt quite sorry to spoil his 
Sunday's rest. He was most kind, wrote me letters, and put 
me into a nice cool room to wait till it was time to catch the 
train, and sent me in a good breakfast after my bath. So I 
got out of Samarang before the mosquitoes even knew I was in 
it, and reached Solo or Soerakarte at sunset by a slow train, 
which took me through a rather desolate tract of country with 
burning forests, showing plainly we were out of Dutch rule 
and order. 

I found quarters in a little mat inn close to the station, 
and the next morning had two hours' drive about the city, and 
satisfied myself I did not care to see more, the Emperor and 
his 999 wives included. I called on the Resident, who said, 
" Oh yes, Prambanan was well worth seeing," and he would 

vii Borneo and Java 277 

give me a letter to the Assistant Eesident at Klaten, who 
could easily take me there. Of course I thought it must be 
close to Klaten ; so I started by the next train, and on arriving 
at a rather lonely station, got a boy to show me the way to 
the Assistant Resident's a good half-mile through scorching 
sand, about three o'clock, and in the full heat. I found the 
whole household taking its siesta, and when at last a black 
servant appeared, he took my letter, pointed to a rocking- 
chair, and put his finger on his lips. I waited, fell into the 
way of the house myself, and took a sleep too. Then tea 
appeared, and the master, who said Prambanan was two 
stations farther off, and I must stop the night with them, 
then his brother should go there with me in the morning. 
The family was a charming one. They walked about with 
me, showed me all their curiosities, and took me for a delicious 
moonlight drive, when the fireflies gave almost as strong a 
light as the moon herself ; and next morning I was taken to 
the old Hindu ruins. They were much scattered over the 
plain ; and the chief, who considered it his duty to accompany 
us, would insist on having his gilt umbrella of state held over 
my head. It had a stick three yards long, with no end of 
fringes and ornamentation, and I felt the dignity almost too 
much for me. 

The ruins were more curious than beautiful, with many 
colossal figures of the gods, the same as those I afterwards saw 
in India. Mr. Jan Bor had to leave before me, so I stayed and 
finished sketching, with the umbrella and the Resident's Head 
Man to take care of me ; and then was driven in by the heat 
to the station, to wait three hours, to the great enjoyment of 
its poor Tyrolean master, who seldom got a chance of talking 
his native tongue to one who knew Meran, his beloved Vater- 
stadt. Poor fellow ! he was a victim to fever, and had a 
decanter of carbolic acid and water ready mixed in the corner 
of the room, which he said suited him better than quinine. 
He was a good fellow, and I liked listening to his sixteen 

278 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

years' experience of Java. The country all round him was 
filled with rice and indigo (mostly under water), irrigated by 
a system of terraces in as perfect a way as could be shown in 
any part of the world. The great slate-coloured buffaloes were 
ploughing through the mud, with the driver raised on a high 
seat behind them, and often a small boy on their backs. 
Those beasts have been known to kill a tiger in defence of the 
children who take care of them. 

While I was gossiping in the room of the Tyrolese, the 
chief came in with his umbrella and followers, one of them 
bringing a teapot, cup, and sugar under a cloth for me. They 
all squatted round us, and would not go till they had seen me 
into the train and off for Djocia the biggest town of Java, the 
residence of its native Sultan, and a great stumblingblock to 
Dutch order in the island. But every one said he would soon 
be bought off and pensioned. The great square in front of his 
palace is surrounded by big trees cut like umbrellas, the 
symbol of greatness in those parts ; and a huge elephant is 
chained up at one corner. There was an excellent hotel, and 
a charming doctor living there who had written books about 
the Java volcanoes. He worshipped Darwin, and had his 
photograph, which he showed me. The Eesident sent me in 
his carriage to the tombs of the Sultans, which were poor 
things, but curious in their way. There was a huge yellow 
turtle in a tank, which was fed on meat. I could not make 
out what he had to do with the tombs. He was probably a 
last remainder of Hinduism. There were also some fine carved 
gateways and banyan trees. The chief had had a most tempt- 
ing breakfast spread out for me under one of them, of cakes, 
fruit, tea, and what he thought most of, bread and butter ; and 
he insisted on my taking a large water-melon away with me, 
in case I got thirsty on the road. When I departed all the 
population clapped me as if I had been a successful comedy. 

I left Djocia in a grand post-carriage and four, with two 
extra horses to drag me up the hills, and ten men waiting to 


Borneo and Java 279 

haul and push me over the dried-up river beds and lava streams 
(for grand volcanoes were on all sides). We crossed a most 
primitive ferry on a great bamboo-mat floor, laid over two 
boats, with men in hats as big as targets, pulling the thing 
over by two ropes made of rattan of enormous length. The 
horses were taken out, the carriage taken down and dragged 
up from the ferry by men. It was a most lively spot, always 
full of people going and coming, and animals standing or 
swimming in the cool clear water. Soon after passing it, 
we came to a huge cotton-tree, which had nearly strangled 
and swallowed up an exquisite little temple. Two sides of 
it were hidden entirely by the roots, between which the 
poor, crushed, but finely-carved stones peeped out. It was 
the tallest tree in all the country round, and towered up 
twice as high as the cocoa-nut plantations near it. The stem 
must have been quite a hundred feet high before it de- 
veloped any branches. Another sort of cotton -tree was 
planted along all the post- roads to act as telegraph posts, 
the peculiar way its branches were arranged at right angles 
to the stem being very convenient for isolating the wires. 
All the pillows and beds were stuffed with the contents of 
its pods. 

About a mile beyond the giant tree and tiny temple we 
came to the great pyramid or monastery of Boro-Bodo, or 
Buddoer. At its foot an avenue of tall kanari trees and 
statues of Buddha lead up to a pattern little mat rest-house, 
and the farmhouse of its manager. The house contained ar 
central feeding-room and three small bedrooms. From the 
front verandah we had a good view of the magnificent pile 
of building, a perfect museum, containing the whole history 
of Buddha in a series of basso-relievos, lining seven terraces 
round the stone-covered hills, which, if stretched out consecu- 
tively, would cover three miles. There were four hundred 
sitting statues of the holy man, larger than life, the upper 
ones under dagobas or hencoops of stone, Many of them had 

280 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

been knocked over by earthquakes, which had cracked the 
whole, and thrown the walls so much out of the perpendi- 
cular that it was a marvel how it all held together without 
.cement of any kind. The whole was surmounted by a dome. 
From the top terraces was the very finest view I ever saw : 
a vast plain, covered with the richest cultivation rice, 
indigo, corn, mandioca, tea, and tobacco, with the one giant 
cotton-tree rising above everything else, and groves of cocoa- 
nuts dotted all over it, under which the great population 
hid their neat little villages of small thatched baskets. Three 
magnificent volcanoes arose out of it, with grand sweeping 
curves and angles, besides many other ragged-edged moun- 
tains. Every turn gave one fresh pictures; and if Boro- 
Bodo were not there I should still think it one of the finest 
landscapes I ever saw. 

The sun used to rise just behind the highest volcano, 
tipping the others with rose-colour, throwing a long shadow 
on the miles of cotton-wool mist below, through which the 
cocoa-nuts cut their way here and there. In half an hour all 
the clouds rose and hid the great mountain for the rest of the 
day. It is the second highest in Java, and only a few years 
ago buried forty villages during an eruption. At sunset the 
mountains were generally seen again. I never missed climbing 
the pyramids night or morning, and was always rewarded by 
some curious and beautiful effect of colour and cloud, and 
always found new stories in the great stone picture-book on 
my way up and down. I longed for Mr. Fergusson at my side 
to explain it all to me. Some of the carvings are very fine. 
The figures have often much beauty and expression in them, 
and are divided by exquisitely fanciful scroll-work, arabesques 
of flowers, birds, and mythological animals. 

I had the place all to myself, and the good farmer and his 
son gave me all sorts of good things to eat, all on one plate. 
I never had any idea what they were made of. The house was 
surrounded by cows and goats, cocks and hens, and was a genuine 


Borneo and Java 281 

farm. The landlord was very fat, and not elegant in the 
afternoon, when he dropped all his clothes but his sarong or 
petticoat; but he was a capital old fellow, and took the 
greatest care of me, walking up with an umbrella to fetch me 
home himself one day, when he thought I had sat too long 
out in the midday sun. 

I wished there had been no watchman at night. He used 
to beat a drum incessantly, sometimes a mile off, coming closer 
and closer till all the dogs got mad with fury and ready to 
fly at him. He used to tell the people to " wake up and guard 
the house," then all the people who were sleeping on the 
different mats round it screamed at him. That took place 
three times every night. Sleep was impossible. What use 
could such a noisy guardian be ? All the thieves could hear 
him and get out of his way. He carried a long fork of wood, 
and caught evil-doers by the neck with it, " they " said. 

Four miles from Boro-Bodo was the other curious monu- 
ment of Mendoot, only accidentally discovered a few years 
before I went there, under the mound of earth by means of 
which it was originally built up. It is said to be Hindu, and 
its carvings are worthy of the old Greeks, so polished and 
exquisitely designed and finished are they. The statue of 
Buddha inside, preaching, might have done for a Jupiter or a 
Memnon. It is of gray granite, quite colossal, as are his two 
friends on either side of him. The calm beauty of the great 
preacher haunts me still, and I was fool enough to waste two 
mornings in trying to paint it, of course failing utterly. 

I took some bread in my pocket the second day, and told 
the old landlord I should walk home ; but when I had got over 
the ferry I found him waiting for me, with his brisk little 
ponies and double -seated carriage like two arm-chairs, one 
person only being intended to sit on each, and the front had 
been well stretched to hold him. He laughed and shook half 
the way home at the idea of my being allowed to walk, and would 
charge nothing in the bill for fetching me, good old fellow ! 

282 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

All the animals were fond of him. His house was surrounded 
by bird-cages, and the great kanari trees were full of singing- 
birds' nests. Those trees grow very tall. The timber is 
invaluable, and the nut good to eat when once the shell is 
broken, but it is as hard as a stone. Wallace's description 
of the way the black cockatoo gets through it is one of the 
most interesting things in his book, which was a Bible to me 
in Java, all he says being thoroughly true. 

I had nearly exhausted my purse when I got to Magelang, 
two posts farther, with four horses ; but I had a letter of 
credit on the landlord of the hotel there. The bankers have 
a capital system in Java of giving one credit for small sums 
on private individuals, so that one has not to run the risk of 
taking much money about in one's pocket. Magelang is a 
large place, the capital of Kadoe, with the usual central square 
of banyan trees. Every one was most kind, and the Resident 
asked me to come and stay; but I did not wish to linger 
there. There was a grand view of the Soembing volcano 
from his garden, with the whole gently-rising plain covered 
with rice terraces and running water over them, trickling from 
one to the other. Deep below was all that was left of the 
river at that season, crossed by a bamboo bridge like a gigantic 
cobweb made of those great canes, which grow to a hundred feet 
high about Magelang. The garden was full of rare trees, but 
had been much neglected by the former Resident. Some of 
the statues from Boro-Bodo had been placed in it A 
Chinese artist was "restoring" these, lengthening the eyes, 
flattening the nose, and turning them into regular Chinese 
ideals of Buddha. 

Mr. van Baak wrote a letter for me to the Resident of 
Wonosobo when he found I was determined to visit the 
Dieng ; and my landlord sent on a horse to the foot of the 
pass to which I drove. There the chief as usual made me 
welcome, introducing me to his principal wife, a nice sensible 
old lady, who took me into her rooms and introduced me to 


Borneo and Java 283 

Number Two, whom she visibly considered a "gay giddy 
thing," covered with gold ornaments, and did not care that I 
should admire her too much, but soon took me by the hand 
and led me away. I had a good old horse, but a man's saddle, 
which I never enjoy, and three coolies to start with, who hung 
the trunks on two crossed bamboos tied at the junction, running 
themselves at each corner of a triangle, one at each side of 
the trunks and one behind; but as soon as they were out 
of sight of the chief they declared themselves hungry, and 
would have stopped to sleep too if I had not started back to 
appeal to him, when they begged forgiveness and came on. 
It was nearly eleven before we were off; then one of them 
sat down and declared himself "sakit," but the two others 
took off the cross-bamboo and went on twice as well without 
him. It was a long drag, and nearly sunset before I mounted 
the hill of Wonosobo a perfect marvel of richness, and a 
great contrast to the bare hills we had crossed. On them, 
however, I found one gem a perfectly green orchid, and looked 
forward to a day's rest in a comfortable house, and time to 
paint it. But there was no hotel, and the Eesidency was 
being painted, the family in Europe. However, after some 
delay the Eesident appeared, a singularly nervous man but 
very good, and before we parted next morning he had become 
quite hospitable in his offers that I should remain or return, 
and wrote me many elaborate directions for my future pro- 

The only horse to be had, I was warned, was " peculiar " a 
mild term, for he required three men to hold his head when I 
mounted the next morning, and two to lead him the first mile, 
after which he tossed me off and tried to macadamise me, 
while my foot was still caught in the stirrup and his heels 
close to my head. I felt sure death was coming, and felt quite 
comfortable, but thought he was a long while about it. I had 
no fear, only wished it over. Then the stirrup-leather broke, 
the brute got out of my way, and I got up none the worse. I 

284 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

never saw such a picture of fear as the face of the poor fellow 
who had led the horse. He was trembling all over ; his eyes 
were starting from his head ; he could not move for some 
moments. I only thought of restoring him to his senses: 
I stroked his poor hand which had been hurt by the horse 
crushing him against the rocky bank. Then I set to work to 
make a new stirrup with a bit of twisted bamboo rope he had 
in his hand, after which I remounted, and we went on plac- 
ably and even sluggishly when the steep hills came, the only 
drawback being that the side-saddle had been made for a small 
child, not a woman, and was always turning round under me. 

At Garoeng I gave my letter to a most practical and gentle- 
manly chief, who wore a very stiff stick-up collar and cuffs 
under his jacket. He proceeded to dictate a letter to some 
other chiefs about me, telling them to feed me and pass me on, 
and tightened up my saddle himself. His house had most 
picturesque high roofs with carved terminals, and was already 
in the clouds. He and his Head Man accompanied me on to 
the next chief, and we went round to see a lake black as ink 
(an old crater probably). Old carved stones were scattered on 
the banks. The next chief gave me more tea and biscuits, 
and a state umbrella carried by his Head Man to accompany 
me. Strawberries were flowering in his garden, and cinchona 
growing over them. I passed fields of tea full of flowers. The 
road got always steeper and my beast lazier, and I walked all 
the last part of the way. The scenery grew very wild, like 
the top of the St. Gothard ; then the plants became like those 
of Europe (except the tree-ferns, ground orchids, and holly- 
hocks). At last I reached the rest-house and small village of 
the Dieng, 6000 feet above the sea, on a small filled-up crater, 
a pass between the tops of two mountains. 

It was so cold that I was delighted to roast myself by a 
great wood-fire. My bed was against the other side of the 
chimney, and I was right glad of the blanket I brought up 
with me. The next morning the chief's cream-coloured pony 


Borneo and Java 285 

was brought for me to mount, and absolutely refused to hear 
of such a thing, turning round and round, kicking, neighing, 
and snorting, so I sent it back and walked. The men all tried 
to get up, with the same success. It was a funny scene. We 
all laughed, including the pony ! I had a most interesting 
walk among the scattered ruins of tombs, temples, aqueducts, 
and foundations of big buildings, whose very use and history 
are unknown. We passed lovely lakes of different colours, saw 
the mud springs boiling up, and the coils of smoke from them 
in all directions, with a strong smell of sulphur. Only certain 
narrow paths were safe to tread on, the rest being a mere 
treacherous and broiling crust, which would bear no human 
weight. It was all rather horrid, and the cold caused me such 
suffering that I determined to get down the shortest way to 
warmth again. 

I had a most pleasant ride of eight hours on an excellent 
horse, which made the Wonosobo saddle also unobjectionable. 
The young chief, after running round and round the cream- 
coloured pony for a quarter of an hour, succeeded in mount- 
ing him, and rode with me, while my pretty horse went as 
quietly as a lamb. Java ponies have a habit of resisting their 
riders' getting on their backs, and showing fight at first, but 
are excellent and untirable after they are once started. The 
views were magnificent. We had a long mountain-pass to 
cross, and much bare moorland. At one place we passed acres 
of tea in flower with cinchona amongst it. I saw a white- 
coated Dutchman looking after his coolies, and to my sur- 
prise he came up and called me by my name, asking me if I 
had had a pleasant journey. He had seen me on board one 
of the steamers, and welcomed me like an old friend (though 
I had no remembrance of him). He offered me all kinds of 
hospitality. I had seen no white man for three days, and 
enjoyed a talk with him, he in Dutch, I in German ; and he 
explained to my chief that I wanted a country carriage to take 
me on to Temanggoeng when I got down to the road. 

286 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

The next thing I saw was the source of a great river and 
glorious springs, surrounded by another monkey colony, a 
remnant of the Hindus. There were great trees and rose- 
hedges all round. Then we descended again till we reached 
Nagaredge and went to the Controller's house, a half-caste 
hunchback, who scolded my chief for even suggesting a car- 
riage, and ordered him to go on and not bother him. I 
produced my magic letter, when the manner changed instantly ! 
I was bowed into a rocking-chair, and a cup of tea produced ; 
but I did not like the man, and decided to go on over five 
miles of glaring road under the midday sun to the next place, 
where the chief lived who had started me over the pass to 

Our horses went on quite gaily. I was received like an 
old friend. My Dieng chief was treated like a gentleman 
and given a mat and tea too, and soon they packed me into 
a carriage which brought me to the Resident's big house at 
Temanggoeng, where two most dear ladies covered me with 
kindness. They were like female Cheeryble Brothers. One 
of them was constantly suggesting to the other some new 
thought for my comfort ; the other thanked her most humbly, 
and blamed herself for not having thought of it earlier. The 
children were lovely and in perfect order, and the Resident 
one of the best specimens I had seen of a high-class Dutch- 
man. I spent four delightful days there, and had a huge 
garden-room all to myself. The roses outside would have 
taken prizes in any show. They had my clothes mended, 
washed, and brushed, and took me lovely drives all round 
the country, seeming as if they could never do enough for 
me, speaking perfect English too. The crops on the plain 
about Temanggoeng and under its five volcanoes were enor- 
mous, water flowing everywhere from magnificent springs, 
economised with a marvellous system of terrace-irrigation 
rice, sugar, coffee, tea, maize, indigo, and great groves of 
every kind of fruit-tree. The massive sugar-palm I had never 


Borneo and Java 287 

seen in such quantity before. One tree would more than fill 
a good big cart with its fruit. 

There were grand markets, and people used to walk 
miles with nothing but bundles of banana-leaves on their 
heads : these were used in a hundred ways to cook on, eat 
on, as paper for doing up parcels (pinned with a thorn of 
the wild palm or cactus), to thatch houses and keep sun or 
rain off young plants or seeds, as well as to make mats and 
baskets of. 

In the evening the two fair-haired little girls of eight and 
six used to sit on their little chairs at a tiny table and play at 
cards, with a negro servant in a gorgeous livery squatting 
between them, all three most intent on their work, with a back- 
ground of roses in pots under the marble-floored portico, and 
the moonlit garden and mountain beyond. It always reminded 
me of Millais' famous study of Mr. Lehmann's little daughter. 
This would have been a still better subject for him. They 
had grand dogs of noble race, and all sorts of other pets. One 
night we went out to see a Chinese festival and fireworks. 
The latter were all fastened to tall poles, beginning at the base 
and lighting their way gradually to the top without any 
human hand touching them ; they became in the end a perfect 
pyramid of different-coloured fires. The effect was very fine ; 
also the curious crowd below, with the bright light on their 
upturned faces, was a sight worth coming across the world to 
see. There are some thousands of Chinese about that country. 
They come first into a district carrying a few tapes, buttons, 
or sugar-plums for sale on their own shoulders. Two years 
afterwards they have a man or two to do the carrying for 
them, then a horse for themselves to ride, then a shop, and 
finally they become rich men with horses, carriages, and 
liveried servants; but they always retain their pigtail and 
simple dress, and generally stick to the original district where 
they are known and respected. I got a great respect for them 
at last, and used to ask my way or other help of a Chinaman 

288 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

in preference to any other Asiatic. They were always so 
practical and quick to understand what I wanted. 

My journey on to Amberawa was a difficult one, the road 
very bad and horses worse; one poor thing lay down five 
times, and at last had to be tied up to a tree and left behind. 
However, the whole day was before me, and I did not care to 
hurry ; but as every hole was full at the hotel, I had again to 
claim hospitality of the Resident, who had three strangers 
already in his house, but made room for me somehow. I met 
another man who had met me in a steamer. Every one seemed 
to know all about me. My host was an old bachelor, with a 
clever brown housekeeper who kept everything in apple-pie 
order. He took me to see the camp near by and the great 
fortress a piece of extrvagance the Dutch now bitterly 
repent of, as a few Armstrong guns could knock it all to pieces, 
and it is in a most feverish position. 

My host said if I would stay longer he would show me 
many curious things, but I went on the next day to Samarang, 
thence by steamer back to Batavia, and thence up to my old 
quarters at Buitenzorg for a few days' rest ; after which I took 
a country carriage with three horses, with extra men to push 
it when necessary up the very steepest hills, and walked myself 
up most of the splendid road over the Megamendoeng Pass. 
There were strings of people going and coming all the way, 
carrying heavy loads on their heads or from the ends of the 
bamboos on their shoulders. Near the top is a deep black lake 
in an old crater which I went down some steps to see. While 
there a shower of rain came on, and my guide picked two 
wild banana-leaves and covered me up with them instead of 
with an umbrella. The large-leaved ferns and arrow-headed 
leaves of different sorts were most magnificent. Then we 
descended considerably to Sindang Sari, where there was a 
kind of hotel and hospital for soldiers managed by an old and 
somewhat eccentric Dr. Plum. He was a philanthropist, and 
took up odd people who did not always turn out creditably. 


Borneo and Java 289 

His housekeeper was so drunk she could neither speak nor 
stand when I arrived. But when I had got rid of her over- 
anxiety to help me I soon made myself at home, with a good 
room and delicious wide verandah on the upper floor. 

There were some nice invalid officers and their wives in the 
house, who were very friendly. The garden was full of fore- 
ground studies ferns, aralias, daturas, and areca-palms growing 
in a half-wild and most picturesque way amongst rocks and 
running water, with delicious baths large enough to swim 
in, through which the water ran in and out continually ; 
beyond all were the grand forests and great volcanoes of Gede, 
Under it, about four miles off, was a branch of the Botanical 
Gardens about 5000 feet above the sea, where the director 
had a bungalow and spent the summer. His wife talked good 
English, and took pains to inform me she did not live there, 
but merely endured it for some months every summer, for the 
sake of her children. She little knew how I envied her 
position, within a few minutes' stroll of the wildest virgin 
forest. The aralias and pandanus were most elegant, and 
there were masses of a large cane -like plant with a creeping 
root, called the "patjuy," which produces great bulb-like 
shoots from the root, of the most beautiful carmine tint, 
having scarlet flowers and fruits hidden inside. These 
resemble miniature cobs of Indian corn, full of refreshing juice. 
They are quite treasures to thirsty travellers. 

The doctor mounted me on a splendid piebald horse, which 
took me one day four miles further into the forest, to see a 
waterfall in a regular grove of tree-ferns. We went up and 
down perfect ladders, and my horse was so entirely sure- 
footed that I never thought of dismounting. Above the 
forest, on the Gede volcano, many curious alpine plants are 
to be found, the most famous being the Primula imperialis. 
The doctor procured some plants for me ; but they were all 
out of flower, which was a great disappointment. 

Houses do not take long to build in Java, and eight men 

VOL. i u 

290 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

can move a mat house in a few hours. They have generally 
some neat geometrical pattern woven in them ; the terminals 
are carved into the shapes of lobster claws and goats' horns 
to ward off the evil eye. The natives used to sit before their 
houses, weaving a coarse kind of cotton dyed beforehand, and 
generally produced an ugly plaid pattern of large squares 
which they delighted in. The sarongs they printed in a 
peculiar way by painting the white part with some kind of 
wax, so that when soaked in the indigo or other dye, that part 
is protected and comes out untinted. Some of the patterns 
are like those on the Persian rugs. 

From the doctor's, six hours in a country cart took me to 
Tanchur, where the Assistant Resident and his nice family took 
me in. I stayed there two days and painted the vanilla, with 
its lovely greenish-white orchidaceous flower-pods and fleshy 
leaves. I had not seen it in full beauty before. It was a 
real pleasure to look at my hostess and her sister, they were 
both so fair and amiable. The Resident of Bendoeng picked 
me up there, and took me on with him in a grand carriage 
with six horses. He had ruled the Preanger for eighteen 
years, the highest and largest province of Java, and was a 
very great man indeed. 

We went like the wind. Buffaloes were waiting at all the 
hills, and coolies to push and pull at the steepest parts. The 
road was magnificent except at those places, and we went as 
fast as on an ordinary railway, with a train of mounted chiefs 
before and behind. At every district fresh ones joined us on 
the most frantic little horses, and when the great man deigned 
to speak to them they dismounted, and went down on their 
heels like frogs ; every living soul did the same as the carriage 
came up, getting into the lowest ditch they could find. It 
v looked very funny in the markets and crowded places we 
passed, to see every one suddenly lowered. Besides myself, 
the Resident had picked up an artist lately married, who 
was suffering from his lungs and going to try a month in 

vii Borneo and Java 291 

higher air. We crossed the river twice, going down almost 
perpendicular roads and up again, and were dragged by men 
over a most picturesque ferry; but a new road and bridge 
were making, and in ten years there would probably be a 
railway too. We also crossed a range of chalk hills covered 
with woods in their autumn tints, which might have been in 
England. The people got more and more civilised, and the 
chiefs wore black alpaca suits like Europeans, all but their 
heads, which were still neatly turbaned over their knot of 
back hair and its comb. I was sorry to see the European dress 
creeping in; it never looks dignified on an Asiatic. Their 
horses were marvels of grace and activity, though very 

We passed, at the top of a pass, a lake quite full of huge 
long-stalked pink lotus (nelumbium) in full flower, a glorious 
sight; but the weather was so uncertain that the Eesident 
advised my going on the next day while it lasted tolerably 
fine, and staying with him on my return ; so he started me 
himself and gave me breakfast at five the next morning, 
packing my trunks into the carriage with his own hands. He 
was a most wonderful man, and never spared himself. He 
could improvise on the piano most tastefully, and when he 
got tired and bothered with work or worry, had the habit of 
sitting down to the piano to refresh himself ; he said he felt 
quite a new man after a few moments of " fantasieren." 

My driver was an Indian with hair on his mouth and chin, 
very unlike the natives of Java. He had jokes for every one, 
and took the greatest care of me. His two tiny ponies only 
rested once in forty miles, but it was a hard pull; four 
times we had four men to drag and push us over the steep 
hills. The scenery was so exceedingly beautiful that it was 
worth coming, in spite of the almost incessant rain. I was 
glad to get out my blanket and put it over my knees and 
shoulders to keep out the cold and damp. The rain-clouds 
cast a bloom over the mountains I had never seen before. The 

292 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

greens seemed greener, and the colour of the nearly ripe rice 
was quite dazzling. We passed over a rich plain a little 
before five, and soon after arrived at the ferry of Garoet, to 
find it broken and impassable, the boats half-full of water, and 
the yellow river rushing like a mill-race. A motley crowd 
were waiting till it was mended, and I had a long conversa- 
tion about it (in our respective tongues) with a Chinese 
merchant, who was travelling with a train of coolies, with piles 
of Lancashire prints hung to their bamboos. But my man 
said it was of no use waiting, and we turned back and begged 
hospitality of the "Assistant," as he called him, of Trogan, a 
young Dutchman with a pretty delicate wife and four babies. 
They were both too nervous to talk anything but Malay at 
first, but in time they found some words of French. 

I was on my way to the house of Herr Holle, who lived on 
the hills behind Garoet, and I had a letter to the native Prince 
or Regent there to send me on. I was taken the next morning 
to see the hot springs at the foot of the Goentoer volcano, 
whose lava-stream looked fearfully fresh and new. The hot 
water rushed out of a tangle of the richest hot-house vegeta- 
tion I ever saw. A succession of tanks below the spring were 
divided by green banks covered with bananas, grasses, and 
huge caladium leaves, dark volcanic stones making delightful 
backgrounds to those green masses, while little bamboo-houses 
on stilts were reflected in the water. There were people in 
red sarongs bathing and fishing in the warm water, their 
fishing being done with hand-baskets like sieves. We had 
some of these brought for us to look at, and they were full of 
strange little green shrimps, beetles, and other nasty things, 
all of which they dried and ate with their everlasting rice. 

The children had some strange pets in the house. One of 
them was a " fretful porcupine " which ran about loose, and 
delighted especially in hiding under my bed ! She liked to 
have her nose tickled, and to nestle close to my feet. She 
was on the best of terms with the dogs, but rustled up all her 

vii Borneo and Java 293. 

spines if interfered with, and the dogs had the sense to leave 
her a wide margin. There were two little pumats, something 
between cats and ferrets, with very beautiful fur, but not good 
countenances. These were the small animals who picked out 
the best coffee, eating the outer part, and leaving the nibs for 
the humans to collect and sell. Cats in Java, like those in 
the Isle of Man, have hardly any tails. 

The house was buried (like all the native houses) in a grove 
of cocoa-nut trees. It faced the high road, and every native 
who passed got off his horse and led it past the house of the 
white official, though my host was only a humble specimen of 
his class. They only pay the same respect to the Dutch they 
do to their own chiefs, and I still think we should have done 
more wisely in our Indian colonies if we had kept up the same 
old manners of the country. Ignorant people think very much 
of outside signs of respect, and take us at our own estimation. 

I had almost made up my mind to wait no longer but 
return to Bandoeng, when Herr Holle walked in, a grand man 
with a strong look that reminded me of Garibaldi, the same 
curious mixture of simplicity, power, and gentleness. The 
Governor-General called him " our great civiliser." He wore 
a fez on his head and sandals with wooden soles like the 
country people, but was otherwise more decently dressed than 
many of the Dutch country gentlemen. He talked all the 
dialects of the country, as well as Sanscrit and Arabic, and his 
English was excellent. He devoted his life to improving the 
condition of his people in the province, had written books in 
their languages, and established schools and other institutions 
for their enlightenment and comfort. He had had the ferry 
mended, and drove me, in his little single-seated carriage with 
two small spirited ponies, through Garoet and up a zigzag 
narrow road, 2000 feet above it, to his village and pretty little 
house, a model place in every way, ornamented with carved 
wood and terra-cotta mouldings, all made by natives under his 

294 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

No door or window was ever locked day or night. The 
people passed through the garden from cottage to cottage, 
and never stole a flower. Herr Holle said he liked to see 
them moving about, and to know they were not afraid of 
him. They often came great distances too to beg him to 
doctor them or give them advice when in difficulties, and to 
work in his tea plantations, which covered miles of hillside. 
The winding paths were bordered with cedars, sheds being 
built at intervals to shelter the pickers from the rain. No 
scene could be more picturesque than those hills crowded with 
gaily- dressed people amongst the tea-bushes, the plain of 
golden rice and palm -groves below, with grand mountains 
beyond, two of them always smoking. 

Eleven years before, all this small paradise was a swamp, 
the home of tigers and rhinoceros; now, the dear creatures 
were not to be seen. I went up to the edge of the impenetrable 
forest, where some said they were still hiding. Near it cin- 
chona and coffee took the place of tea, while the ferns and 
wild bananas were growing on every scrap of uncultivated 
ground. I did plenty of painting, but my chief delight was in 
hearing my host talk, and seeing him among his people. One 
evening he took me to see the children shaking the trees to 
collect cockchafers, which they roasted and ate with their 
rice. They had a bit of burning wood on the ground, the 
insects flew to it, and were caught by the eager little creatures. 
So picturesque they looked in the firelight, the whole under 
the brightest moon I ever saw. The Government constantly 
sent Herr Holle to mediate and arrange difficulties with natives 
all over the island. He knew all their peculiarities, proverbs, 
and idioms, and could always manage them. His great friend 
was the Mufti of Garoet : orthodox old ladies used to say he 
was a Muhammadan himself. He knew the Koran by heart, 
could convince the people by their own arguments from it, 
and met them half-way in most things ; he allowed no pork 
on his table, no dogs in his house. 

vii Borneo and Java 295 

He had plenty of books and illustrations of the antiquities 
of Java, and showed me how both Boro-Bodo and Mendoet 
were raised, by covering up with earth as the builders went 
on, so as to form a long slanting road to the work, over which 
they could bring the stones to the very top. Mendoet had 
never been uncovered till a few years before, which accounted 
for its great smoothness and preservation. 

I was taken to see the whole process of tea-culture picking, 
drying, and packing, all so nicely and cleanly done. The 
boxes had English labels stuck on them, as they went chiefly 
to Australia. The great buffaloes brought their little carts up 
the hills and took them away. I saw the schoolhouse, with 
the maps and drawings for the pupils to copy. They were 
then away during the feast of Ramadan. Herr Holle had 
them taught to read and write Dutch ; he said there had been 
a great outcry against it at first, but he thought it good to 
break down the boundary of races as much as possible, never 
hurting the feelings or rubbing against the prejudices of either, 
if he could help it. The Muhammadans in the Preanger were 
liberally inclined, never having more than one wife, and letting 
her go about with her face uncovered like other Javanese 
women. He took me to have breakfast with his friend the 
Mufti or Priest of Garoet, a most intelligent man, who sent 
his daughter to a mixed school for boys and girls. She was 
very clever, and had taught herself Dutch so well that she 
had made translations of some of Hans Andersen's stories, 
and published them in her own language (the Serbanese). 

After leaving the Mufti's I was sent on alone, stopping to 
shake hands with my kind friends at Trogan, to Bendoeng, 
where I found my magnificent room kept for me still, and a , 
kind welcome from the energetic Eesident, Mr. Pahut. His 
wife was still at Buitenzorg with her sick child, so I had all 
my days to myself, and painted a study of the rice-harvest, 
which was going on all over that rich high plain on which the 
city stands. It was a bright scene, with the golden stacks, 

296 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

sheds, and stubble, in which the gaily-clothed people and 
hideous buffaloes were buried up to their knees, with glorious 
sunshine over it all. 

The nice little governess and her invalid artist brother were 
still in the house ; the latter complained of the colouring of 
Java being " so monotonous," nothing but the same green ! I 
never saw the same in any two trees ; the lilacs and blues of 
the hills were delicious, the bamboos were just then quite 
yellow, and the rice-fields of every tint, from brown-gold to 
yellow and green, all full of variety ; I longed to shake the 
stupid blind conceit out of the poor limp fellow ! Bendoeng 
is a large thriving town, covering a very large space of ground, 
as every house stands separately in its own garden. The 
Chinese street or bazaar must have been quite a mile long, 
and the mosque looked very picturesque, amongst banyan- and 
mango-trees, cocoa-nuts and areca-palms. 

I found a nice quiet place to paint in, from a raised 
terrace in front of a school close to the public road, so that 
the admiring crowd could not get within eye-rubbing distance 
of me. Once I saw them suddenly sink low in the dust, and 
found a beautifully dressed native squatting at my elbow ; it 
was the Regent, or native Prince, with whom I had a long 
conversation in unknown tongues (I hope he was the wiser !). 
He watched my work a long time, then departed, and the 
population rose again. They were such a gentle people, never 
in one's way. I could not say as much for the Chinese school- 
children, who crowded round me in a most unpleasant throng 
when their school-hours were over. One boy stood at the 
back of my easel, staring at me, so I calmly raised my brush 
a little and put a dab of blue at the end of his nose, and the 
applause in the street below was uproarious. 

The people of the Preanger were far merrier than in other 
parts of Java, and wore every shade of red in preference to the 
dull indigo blue, which is the favourite colour elsewhere. The 
Resident's carriage took me and fetched me from my sketching- 

vii Borneo and Java 297 

place, with outriders and noble English horses. He himself 
was a remarkable young man to have done such an amount 
of work in so few years. His father had been Governor- 
General, and he had known the country and people all his 
life ; he was a perfect king in his own province. Meals were 
very irregular, sometimes hours after the appointed time. I 
used to get painfully hungry, but could not be cross when the 
great man came and fetched me himself on his way to the 
dining-room so good-naturedly, talking, laughing, and enter- 
taining us all while dinner lasted as if he had nothing else to 
do ; after which he set to work again till the next meal came. 
Sometimes they had parties in the great portico, and three 
whist tables would be in use at once under the hanging baskets 
of exquisite ferns and orchids. All round were stands of 
splendid flowers begonias and geraniums. Stag's-horn ferns 
were hung up like gigantic green brackets in every corner, 
with a perfect cascade of seed-leaves hanging underneath 
them. It looked very gay, but I did not find the society 
amusing. I was too sleepy after my hard day's work to sit 
up for a late supper, and was allowed to go off to bed. 

The Eesident arranged to send my trunks back by post , 
he stuck the labels on with his own hands, then packed me 
off in a great open carriage with the limp artist and Herr von 
Miiller, Head of the " Woods and Forests " of Java. The latter 
was always flying about in that great carriage, which had been 
built for him in Manchester, with an awning added at Ben- 
doeng. He had a table to screw into its middle, and a bed to 
pull out at night, and was a most genial good fellow, who 
liked to give a lift to his friends, and seldom went alone. He 
told me his carriage had already gone 16,000 miles, and had 
never had an accident or gone wrong in any way. The young 
controller of Bendoeng made a fourth to the party, and we flew 
over the ground with six horses all at full gallop, buffaloes and 
men to push when needed, ordered to be ready by telegraph 
everywhere. We passed two trees quite black with flying- 

298 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. VH 

foxes, taking their siesta with their heads downwards, wrapped 
up in their own wings instead of mackintosh cloaks, which these 
so much resembled. And near the top of the pass was a lake, 
full of the grand Indian lotus. 

Travelling with great Javan officials almost takes one's 
breath away. We seemed perpetually trying to catch some 
phantom train ; horses were waiting at every station, buffaloes 
at every hill, men running like furies beside the horses, 
shouting, whipping, pushing, and hauling ; people and animals 
rushing into ditches to make way and show respect. The 
Assistant Resident and his pretty wife were not at Yandjor, 
so we ate our rice at a nice little hotel, quite smothered in 
greenery. The trees were loaded with fruit all round us, and 
it was very hot ; but the road up to Sindang Sari is magni- 
ficent. The doctor gave me my old room and a most kind 

The next day I rode back to the forest of Tchi Boelas, 
and the two officials went on a ride of inspection, while " our 
artist " and myself painted the same bit of forest scenery so 
differently, that no one would take our productions to have 
been painted in the same country. His might have been 
as well done at home in Holland, with some old Dutch 
pictures as his models, all discoloured by brown varnish. 
How odd it is that artistic people persist in seeing Nature 
everywhere alike and through smoked spectacles ! 




AFTER a few days I returned, to pack up and take leave of 
my friends at Buitenzorg. I called on Madame van L. and 
heard the billiard-balls in the next room cease to rattle ; the 
Governor-General came in and talked for about ten minutes, 
then pleaded urgent and important business and disappeared : 
I heard the billiard-balls rattle again, and soon after took 
my leave. I was rather limp myself and wanted rest and 
home, so I gave up my idea of going to the Moluccas, and 
went back to Singapore in the same steamer which took me 
to Java. 

As there was no first-class cabin to be had, the captain 
(who always lodged at my hotel at Buitenzorg when on 
shore) promised to keep quite as good a one among the 
second class for me. He made me sit next him at dinner, 
and on my other side I had a first-class Dutchman, who had 
the good taste to talk the captain's language, so we were a 
sociable little party. In the tug going down the long Batavian 
canal, a dreadful woman, with high heels to her boots, two 
parrots, and one baby, came and sat next to me. She put 
down the baby between the two birds, who deliberately bit 
the poor child till it roared with pain, when the woman 
cuffed the parrots and the baby too. I could not help remark- 
ing to my next neighbour the famous words of Dundreary, 
" TV old 'ooman's a lunatic 1 " I made a friend for life of 

300 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

a most jolly young Scotch boy named K. Whenever I 
went on deck, he got me chairs, telling me all about himself 
and his belongings as if I were an old aunt. He said it made 
him feel at home to talk to a real Englishwoman again. 
When the pilot declared it was too late to take the ship 
into harbour, young K. and I went and spoke the old man 
fair, and made him land us in his boat. He saw me up safely 
to Mr. D.'s, the colonial secretary, where I had promised 
to stay for the few days I remained at Singapore that time, 
he himself going on to the house of his twin-brother. 

The D.s had a cockatoo loose on a perch, which used 
to take restless fits and walk over all the furniture in the 
room. One morning it walked up on to my knee before I 
could remonstrate, and sat there perfectly contented while 
I stroked and rubbed it as I would have rubbed and stroked 
a cat every now and then muttering, "Pretty cockatoo, 
cockatoo is a pretty creature." 

After three days of gossip among my many friends, I 
started in the great French ship Amazon, with a good cabin 
but unpleasant people. The Dutch passengers sulked by 
themselves at one table, the Chinese at another. I was put 
among a mixed lot of Britishers, and never spoke a word 
for four days. There was a good deal of sea too off Sumatra. 
At last a wild Irishman, who had been wandering all over 
Australia and New Zealand with his eyes and ears open, 
took compassion on me and landed me and my trunks at 
Galle, after which he went on to pass the winter on the 
Nile and "see if there was anything to shoot there." What 
a killing race the British are ! 

The Oriental Hotel at Galle is famous all over the world. 
I stayed there ten days, and saw it in its different aspects. 
On mail-days some hundred people thronged into it, and the 
street outside became a perfect bazaar. A crowd of ragamuffins 
of every sort and nation were to be seen there, amusing and 
cheating the Britishers in the verandah the latter not being 

vin Ceylon and Home 30 1 

a choice collection of their kind, and much given to "brandy 
and soda." Young reckless boys, with hats on the back of 
their heads, sent out of England to make fortunes because 
they were incapable of doing anything at home, are not the 
class to succeed as emigrants. They dressed in all sorts of 
ridiculous head-coverings, and used strong language, because 
they thought it " manly " to do so. Then there were plenty 
of limp ladies, babies, and nurses, going home escorted about 
by poor used-up Anglo -Indians. There was a large old 
monkey which played tricks, and had done so for thirteen 
years, whenever the mails came in. His master found 
showing him off so lucrative that he had refused very large 
offers to buy him. The monkey looked horribly bored, and 
hated the sight of an Anglo-Indian. He had quite a different 
manner when I met him one day between the mails; he 
shook hands and seemed glad to see me, but could not abide 
mail -passengers. There were men with little parrakeets 
which sat on their fingers and were all drugged, and died 
as soon as they were bought from the ultimate effects of it ; 
Jews with sham sapphires, for which they asked ,30 and 
took a rupee (they were all glass), inlaid boxes, ivory elephants, 
bangles, sticks, crochet- work and lace from mission-schools ; no 
end of clatter ; also people who had sham fights with the two 
policemen, ran away, and came back on the other side. 

On other days than the mail, Galle was quite dead and 
every one slept, not a soul moved in the streets. Mrs. Barker, 
the landlady, made me most comfortable, sending all my meals 
into my room, and I fixed on a "garry" driver I liked, and 
had him every morning to drive me out. I do not think I 
knew what cocoa-nuts were till I saw those at Ceylon ; there 
they are the weed of weeds, and grow on the actual sea-sand. 
The sand was most golden, and the tropical crabs ran over 
it like express trains. There were also lovely rocks of rich 
red and golden tints scattered about in front of the sea, 
and the edge of the sand was bordered with the beautiful 

3O2 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

sea-grape (as it was in Jamaica), with masses of pandanus on 
their stilted roots. The sea-waves were exquisitely coloured 
and clear. 

Galle itself stands out into the sea, and is almost an island, 
with old walls and forts round it like Cadiz. The Cingalese 
looked quite handsome after the Malay race, and were 
extremely neat and peacocky in their dress, which was 
almost always white ; their hair was most carefully combed, 
oiled and knotted up, both men and women wearing the 
same combs. One man came to converse with me when out 
sketching, with a quart bottle in his hands which he made 
me smell. "It is medicated oil; I always use medicated oil 
for my hair. Do you use medicated oil for your hair ? " he 
said, all spoken in the most priggish and precise way. I 
used to have the carriage put somewhere under the trees, 
the horses taken out, and so could sketch out of reach of the 
crowd, who were not so well disciplined as the people of 
Java, and came much in one's way. But the children were 
very pretty. " I'se a Christian," said a monkey when I asked 
it not to shake the wheels. My driver and his horse had 
long baths while I painted, and the former drove me home 
with the long shiny waves of black hair spread over his 
shoulders and bare back to dry, just as the elegantly dressed 
young ladies used to do in Punch a few years ago. 

I screamed with delight at the sight of a bright green 
chameleon with a long tail and scarlet comb which ran over 
the rocks near. My driver made a noose out of a palm-leaf 
and caught it for me, but the creature's scarlet comb changed 
to green, and he wriggled so much that I let him go again. 
It was quite a different creature from those of the Mediter- 

Bona Vista is a most lovely rocky point three miles from 
Galle, on which are a chapel and missionary school, and Mr. 
M. (the clergyman there) invited me in to breakfast on his 
verandah. They had the most delicious views. The house 

viii Ceylon and Home 303 

stood amongst granite rocks, which were covered with 
parasites and ferns and shaded by palms, the blue sea some 
hundred feet below them. Like every one in Ceylon, they 
had a vivid remembrance of Miss Gordon Gumming, who 
nearly walked the limp parson to death. I got quite tired 
of her name, and heard far more about her than about the 
beautiful country with its orchids and elephants. A good 
old Cingalese waited on me in the hotel ; he had been 
thirteen years there, and wanted to go with me all over 
the world, he said, "because he liked me." I wondered what 
" Elizabeth " would have said to my bringing home a very 
languid old native, with a round comb on the top of his 
gray hair, which was fastened in a most feminine knot beneath 
it, and who wore a jacket and petticoat ! The women wore 
loose muslin shirts, very much starched, with enormous sleeves. 
After eight days of slow stewing, I started in an open 
carriage (the coach) for Colombo with two young Oxford 
men for companions, thoroughly nice fellows, just come from 
China and Japan. We sent a boy up a cocoa-nut tree at the 
first post we stopped at, to ascertain if it were a fact that 
the leaves they tied on the trunks could rustle loudly enough 
to alarm the owners, when thieves climbed over them. I 
still doubt it, but the very reputation of their doing so may 
help to keep off thieves. The road was most interesting all 
the way, near the beautiful shore or through swamps full of 
pandanus and other strange plants, with perpetual villages. 
I much missed the neat mat and bamboo houses of Java. 
In Ceylon they were mere mud-hovels, and everything was 
less neat, the people lazier, but the little bullock-carts were 
very pretty ; every " gentleman " kept one, instead of the 
"gig" of England. Two wheels and a thatched "ugly" 
overhead made a cart, and I have often seen four people all 
sitting like frogs on their own heels under one ugly, with a 
noble little hump-backed beast to draw it, a mere miniature of 
a bullock, not bigger than the smallest pony, but going at a 

304 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

regular trot, his pretty gray skin generally cruelly tattooed 
in some elaborate pattern. The people, in all sorts of bright- 
coloured drapery, wore tall mitres on their heads. The 
priests of Buddha all wore yellow drapery and uncovered 
heads. There were plenty of flowers, many of those I 
remembered having seen in Jamaica. 

Colombo is most unattractive, but cooler than Galle. All 
its houses seemed in process of being either blown up or pulled 
down. My hotel had "temporary" actually printed on its 
bills. I sent in my letters to the Governor, and he wrote me 
a kind note asking me to breakfast, and offering me all kinds 
of hospitality, but I was anxious to get up to Kandy, and 
Colombo did not attract me ; so he gave me some more letters 
and sent me off in his own "garry" to the station, ordering 
a carriage to be reserved for me. Sir William Gregory had 
a mongoose brought up to show me, which ate buttered toast 
and snakes, killing the latter in the most clever way, springing 
on the backs of their necks, pinning them down, strangling 
them and never getting bitten itself. I have never heard any 
confirmation of the curious story of mongeese combining, one 
to amuse the snake while another killed it. 

The railroad journey was a most beautiful one, mounting 
slowly up 1700 feet to the top of the pass, with superb 
views, reminding me of the Petropolis Sierra in Brazil, only 
less fine. Everything in Ceylon is on a small scale, but some 
of the granite or limestone tops are fantastic in shape, like 
castles or towers, and the trees are loaded with creepers. 
The cultivation is very scattered and poor after Java, but 
none the worse for that in picturesqueness. The tall Taliput- 
palm stands out grandly with its head of yellow flower- 
feathers, which only comes to it after thirty years of growth, 
and is succeeded by the equally magnificent but leafless head 
of fruit ; then the whole falls by its great weight and dies. 
The great wild palm too with the maiden-hair-fern-like leaves, 
called the sugar-palm by the natives, and the ironwood tree, 

vni Ceylon and Home 305 

made a great show in the landscape, the latter with its brilliant 
pink leaves and shoots. 

It was dark and raining hard when I reached Kandy, and 
I scrambled into one of the clumsy covered Irish cars of the 
country, beside a native in a red turban. He turned me out 
at the hotel, where a tribe of more idle natives looked on at 
me as I tumbled out over the muddy wheels. Nobody offered 
a hand to help or to lift my things ; they never even thought 
of finding me a room till I got myself into a rage and scolded 
them. After a deal of hunting a key was found, which opened 
a long slip of a room with three beds and nothing else. When 
I declared that would not do for me the man said, " That very 
good, that double-bedded room." I said it was more, it was 
triple-bedded, but I must have a table and more room, on 
which at last they got civiller, found a good room, brought 
me some tea and a plate of half-cold hard salt beef and carrots. 
Such a lot of men to do it and no head ! in the hotel of 
Ceylon's old capital, Kandy ! What a contrast to the inn at 
Buitenzorg ! 

The Governor had told me Mr. Thwaites was going to 
Colombo to stay with him the next day, so I ordered a carriage 
at six, and drove over to the Botanic Gardens to catch him 
before he went. I found the dear old gentleman delighted to 
see me ; and, in spite of the drizzling rain, we had a charming 
walk round the gardens for two hours. He had planted half 
the trees himself, and had seldom been out of it for forty 
years, steadily refusing to cut vistas, or make riband-borders 
and other inventions of the modern gardener. The trees were 
massed together most picturesquely, with creepers growing 
over them in a natural and enchanting tangle. The bamboos 
were the finest I ever saw, particularly those of Abyssinia, a 
tall green variety 60 or 100 feet high. The river wound all " 
round the garden, making it one of the choicest spots on earth. 
Mr. Thwaites showed me also his exquisite collection of butter- 
flies, and promised to give me some of his spare ones. He kept 

VOL. i x 

306 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAR 

that promise most generously; he never said anything he didn't 
mean, and detested everything false. He was one of the most 
perfect gentlemen I have ever known, and I longed to be able 
to stay a while to rest and paint near him and his beautiful 
garden. As I was taking leave, I pulled a letter from my 
pocket and asked if he knew Mr. L., to whom it was written, 
and if it was worth my while to give it ? He said, Oh yes, 
he was his best and nearest neighbour, whom he always 
called the "Good Samaritan"; that I had better go and 
see him at once, as he was sure to be at home on 'Sunday 

So I turned down a pretty lane, and in five minutes found 
myself in the garden of Judge L., where his Worship was hard 
at work, digging in his shirt-sleeves, far too grimy to shake 
hands, but intensely hospitable. He made me promise at 
once to move my things and take up my quarters in his spare 
rooms, in the most perfect peace and quiet, close to the 
gardens and their good old director, and three miles from the 
gossip and " Kleinstadterei " of Kandy : it was the very nest 
I had been longing for. Mr. L. drove off to his work after 
breakfast, never returning until dinner-time, every day, and I 
worked all day long in undisturbed quiet. My kind host gave 
quarters to all the waifs and strays besides myself. My 
nephew Stuart K. S. and other young men used to come 
in for a night or two at a time ; the house had seldom any 
empty rooms. Mr. L. started for a holiday trip to India 
shortly after my arrival, and persuaded me that I should be 
doing him quite a kindness by keeping the house going during 
his absence and employing his servants. I desired nothing 
better than to stay quiet. It was funny feeling so entirely 
at home in that little bungalow, and having it all to myself. 
Everything was left about as if the master were there plate 
on the sideboard, doors and windows always open, the butler 
seldom at home, yet nothing was ever stolen. There was a 
deliciously sweet garden round me, and two dogs, two monkeys, 

vni Ceylon and Home 307 

and some other pets to keep me lively. The carriage was also 
to be at my orders, but I did not want it. 

Kandy is a cockney sort of place, full of croquet, lawn- 
tennis, fashions, and scandal, but very pretty with its little 
artificial lake and its monastery and palace half-hidden among 
delicious gardens and groves of palms. The Governor-Agent 
and Mrs. P. lived in the old palace, and the rooms were full 
of quaint figures, half raised on the wall, picked out with 
white on a blue ground. One day Mr. P. took me to the 
temple and into its most holy chamber, in which the gold 
Dagoba or bell which covers Buddha's famous tooth is kept, 
always surrounded by piles of yellow and white flowers and 
ever-burning lamps. The original tooth was carried off from 
Kandy to Burmah many years ago, and is there still ; but as 
both teeth were taken from an elephant, it did not matter 
much which elephant they came from. The Prince of Wales 
alone had been allowed to see it uncovered. The biggest 
emerald in the world is said to be also kept under that bell. 
Miss G. C. (my Mrs. 'Arris) had nearly caused a rebellion by 
looking through her opera -glass at the thing, when it was^ 
uncovered once during some national ceremony. I spent one 
day making a painting in the semi-darkness of the holy place, 
trying to give some idea of the yellow flowers, yellow gold, 
yellow priest, and yellow light of the thing, which in the 
hands of a great artist might have made a rich picture ; but 
the want of air, the smell of burning tallow, of flowers, and 
of general Buddhism, was almost too much for even my 
endurance, and after an hour or so I was glad to get back 
to my happy garden home and to quiet. 

My host was the most hospitable of men. Before he left 
for India he had friends to dinner most days ; but it required 
a good deal of diplomacy out there to arrange pleasant parties, 
as many of the nearest neighbours were not on speaking terms 
with one another. I have often driven round the lake of 
Kandy (the Eotten Row of Ceylon) with friends in whose 

308 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

house I have been staying, who cut dead the people with 
whom I have been lunching ; it was too foolish, and all for 
some perfectly trivial little offence. The so-called " religion " 
caused many quarrels, the young bishop having excommuni- 
cated all the old missionary set, and started all sorts of 
ritualistic fashions, which must have delighted those they 
both called heathens. So I saw as little as I could help of 
all these charming people, and kept quietly at Peradeniya, 
working either in my own garden or the Botanical close by, 
never going out without finding fresh beauties and curiosities 
of nature. Mr. Thwaites also never went into Kandy, and 
every evening towards dusk I either walked up to have a 
stroll with him, or he came down to me. He was a most 
charming companion, giving me always some new flower or 
fruit to paint, and having always a cover laid for me at break- 
fast, if it suited me to take it in his house instead of my own. 
From my window, I could see a thick-stemmed bush (almost 
a tree) of the golden-leaved croton, and many pink dracsenas, 
while under them were white roses as lovely as any at home. 
Then came the lawn, and a great Jack-tree with its huge fruit 
(two feet long when ripe) hanging directly from the trunk, 
and branches with shining leaves like those of the magnolia. 
A cocoa-nut was beside it a delicious contrast, with its feathery 
head, masses of gold-brown fruit, and ivory flowers, like gigantic 
egret-plumes. A thick-leaved Gourka-tree stood also on the 
lawn, loaded with golden apples, but all hidden away under 
the leaves out of sight, The lawn was bordered by a hedge 
entirely covered with the blue thunbergia, hiding the road, 
along which great bullock-carts were constantly passing, drawn 
by splendid beasts with humps conveniently placed for sup- 
porting the cross-poles by which they dragged their loads. 
Many of them were milk-white, with long straight horns, 
almost parallel with their necks. Some of them had their 
horns curved like ancient lyres. The drivers were quite in 
character with their beasts. 


Ceylon and Home 309 

On the other side of the road was an untidy bit of nearly 
level ground covered with mandioca (from which tapioca and 
cassava are made), looking very much like our hemp-plant;^ 
bananas, daturas, sunflowers, gorgeous weeds which much 
offended the tidy eyes of my absent host, but delighted me ; 
a lovely white passion-flower ran all over it, as well as many 
kinds of lantana, a plant originally introduced from the 
Mauritius, now all over the tropics, and of every possible 
colour. Pretty hills of about 800 feet surrounded the wide 
valley covered with scrubby trees ; but all looked on a small 
scale after Java. There was a noble avenue of india-rubber 
trees at the entrance to the great gardens, with their long 
tangled roots creeping over the outside of the ground, and 
huge supports growing down into it from their heavy branches. 
Every way I looked at those trees they were magnificent. 
Beyond them one came to groups of different sorts of palm- 
trees, with one giant " taliput " in full flower. I settled my- 
self to make a study of it, and of the six men with loaded 
clubs who were grinding down the stones in the roadway 
while they sang a kind of monotonous chant, at the end of 
each verse lifting up their clubs and letting them fall with a 
thud. It was a slow process, but they like to work in their 
own way, and Mr. Thwaites said he knew by the noise they 
made they did work continuously, though slowly. If he had 
compelled them (as most English did) to work in another 
fashion, they would be sitting down and tired out for hours 
together. Their own tortoise-like way was well adapted to 
the climate, and amused them. 

He had a clever Cingalese head-man, and employed another 
native to make paintings for him of all the moths and butter- 
flies, with their caterpillars and larvae, and the leaves they fed 
on, as well as of the fungi and flora of Ceylon. These paint- j 
ings were done in water-colours, so exquisitely that one could 
see almost every hair in the insect's wings; they were all \ 
painted from the real thing, without any help from glasses. 

3io Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

I spent many a delightful hour looking over them and the 
beautiful collection of insects Mr. Thwaites had made, hearing 
all their habits and histories. He also took me to the different 
trees in the garden where they lived and fed, and showed me 
their nests. 

Sir William Gregory was the only person the old director 
ever went to stay with. We both went to dine and sleep at 
the Pavilion the only night the Governor was in Kandy. 
The gardens were fine, but the house, from long disuse, looked 
very comfortless, as its master had not cared to live there since 
his wife's death. I was put into the huge state-rooms the 
Prince of Wales had occupied last. His Excellency showed 
me in, and looked himself to see if they had put my sheets on 
the bed, for nobody was there to be responsible but the gardener. 
I felt like a sparrow who had by a mistake got into an eagle's 
nest, it was such a monstrous place, with one of those odd 
bunches of flowers gardeners make all over the world, on the 
table a dahlia in the middle surrounded by gardenias, then 
marigolds, geraniums, roses, and heliotrope. Government 
Houses too all over the world are nearly as incongruous. This 
one had a staircase only a yard wide leading to all these grand 
rooms. We were only a party of five, and after dinner we 
walked through the dark shrubberies to spend an hour with 
the Colonial Secretary and Mrs. B., who were also there for one 
night only. 

The next morning at six I was at work on my sketch of 
the outside of the temple, and breakfasted in the old palace, 
when a party of Indian pedlars came and spread out their 
gorgeous shawls and other goods on the verandah. They 
made a fine foreground to the flowers and palm-trees beyond. 
When I got home I found at last a ripe Jack-fruit to finish 
my painting from. Denis, the butler, had been constantly 
looking up at the tree and promising me one " the day after 
to-morrow " ever since I came, and that one always disappeared 
and another was looked at with the same answer. Mr. L.'s 

viii Ceylon and Home 3 1 1 

fruit was always going to be ripe " the day after to-morrow." 
Though the natives did not steal spoons, fruit was considered 
common property. Denis was a nice quiet fellow, and took 
a real pleasure in making me comfortable. He brought me 
an extra nice tea when I came back that day, on a huge brass 
tray, with a figure of Buddha in the middle of it, a dancing 
elephant on each side, and a circle of peacocks all round 
the rim. 

I spent three days up at Eamboddy, half-way up Nuwara 
Eliya, about 5000 feet above the sea, getting there partly by 
rail, partly by car. The situation is fine, surrounded by moun- 
tains with grand waterfalls all round it ; but the country had 
been denuded of trees in order to grow coffee, which was 
treated in the usual English fashion the bushes cut down like 
pollards to the height of ordinary gooseberry bushes, and the 
leaves pulled off to let in every ray of sun, and force them on 
unnaturally. The wind was very high, and I was nearly 
blown over when trying to paint the distant view from the 
head of one of the falls, with a foreground of datura-bushes 
loaded with their big white bells, on each side of the torrent 
with its huge boulders. I was still weak, though much better, 
but found myself unable to bear any rough journeys, was 
glad to get back to my quiet home again, and refused all 
invitations to leave it or pay visits. 

On Christmas Day I found myself in the midst of small 
troubles. Denis was ill with fever. The two dogs were said 
to have been bitten by a mad dog, and were locked up in a 
wire chicken-cage (from which by the least push they might 
easily have escaped). On Thursday I was called out to see the 
housekeeper's baby girl, a month old, which had been found 
dead in the morning. I went into the cottage, and found the 
mother rolling on the ground, throwing dust on her head, 
howling, and writhing like a serpent. The man cried, and 
put the little cold stiff body into my hands, while the elder 
children demanded "sugar-plums," as they always did at the 

312 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

sight of me. Soon after it was buried down by the river, and 
a lot of crackers were let off to drive away the evil one. (Like 
the Chinese, the Tamils thought more of him than of the good 
spirit.) A hill clergyman came in to breakfast with me. He 
took a forty miles' ride every month, and always rested like 
other waifs and strays at Mr. L.'s. He said very possibly 
those people had let the child die as it was only a girl, and 
they had three already, and would have to give them marriage 
portions. It was quite a usual custom to starve them to death 
slowly, or poison them. That Mr. M'L. was a sensible man. 
He went about the hill-country to the different chapels once a 
month, sometimes finding three white men for a congregation, 
sometimes none at all. He had no idea of converting the 
natives, but said that near the large towns they had found 
out " it paid " to pretend to be Christians, so they did pretend. 
I did not believe anything about the mad-dog story, but 
thought the " boys " wanted to get them out of their way 
for some reason. Perhaps, as Denis was not about, they were 
going to have their friends on the premises, to whom the dogs 
would object, so I had poor old Dick out of his cage, and he 
walked up to the gardens with me as usual, carrying a stick 
and as grave as a judge (far more so than his master) ; but 
old Mr. Thwaites said 1 did wrong, and made me tie him up 
again, as he said if any one were bitten I should be blamed. 
I submitted, but could not bear to see the poor old dog so 
unhappy and a prisoner. The sight of him made me regret 
leaving home less, and I went to stay a few days with an 
eccentric old gentleman, called generally "the Baron," and 
his dear old wife at Kandy, who lived in a little house full 
of curiosities, quite under the shade of the Temple Garden, 
and close to its pretty lake with its gimcracky balustrade. 

The Governor was coming to open the new waterworks, 
and a great fte was to be given in his honour. Thirteen 
elephants were collected to make a show. Some of these had 
been employed on the work itself, and, I was told, carried 


Ceylon and Home 3 1 3 

the great squared stones with their trunks and pushed them 
into their places, then made two steps back, took a good 
look to see if they were straight, came and gave a few more 
pushes, took another look, and were not satisfied unless the 
work were done with the greatest neatness. I had been 
asked to make a drawing of Lady G.'s grave, and went on 
two mornings to the cemetery, picking my way carefully 
through the long grass, so as to avoid the clever leeches which 
were clinging to the leaves, on the watch for the rare chance 
of human legs to fasten on and suck. They never got a 
chance with me, it only required care and short petticoats 
to avoid them. At the gate of that cemetery was a magnificent 
mass of white datura, with the small scarlet ipomoea all over 
it, making a most exquisite bit of colour. I had to wait 
nearly an hour for the key one day, and much enjoyed it. 

The opening ceremony at the waterworks was most 
amusing. We all went down into the narrow valley, and 
half the white people would not speak to the other half. 
Mr. Thwaites, myself, and one or two other odds and ends, 
had to be used as buffers to keep them from touching one 
another. All the chiefs were collected in a lump, with such 
full starched petticoats they could neither sit nor stand. 
Pincushions with gold tassels at the corners and buttons on 
the tops were on their heads, and tremendous rings on their 
fingers. The elephants, which had had level places dug out 
of the hillsides for each of their four feet to stand on, were 
very nervous about slipping down the hill, and kept up 
perpetual moans. The Governor and other officials read 
long speeches in a high wind, which no one could hear or 
understand, and were very glad, like every one else, when it 
was over. 

After this my old friend and I went down with the 
Governor in his special express to Colombo, where I again 
had the Prince of Wales's great empty room, and after a few 
days in that dreary grandeur I said good-bye to my kind 

314 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

friends, and went on to stay with Mrs. Cameron at Kalutara. 
I had long known her glorious photographs, but had never 
met her. She had sent me many warm invitations to come 
when she heard I was in Ceylon. Her husband had filled a 
high office under Macaulay in India, but since then for ten 
years he had never moved from his room. At last she made 
up her mind to go and live near her sons in Ceylon. Every 
one said it would be impossible ; but when told of what she 
was going to do, he said that the one wish he had was to 
die in Ceylon ! He got up and walked, and had been better 
ever since. He was eighty-four, perfectly upright, with long 
white hair over his shoulders. He read all day long, taking 
walks round and round the verandah at Kalutara with a long 
staff in his hand, perfectly happy, and ready to enjoy any 
joke or enter into any talk which went on around him. He 
would quote poetry and even read aloud to me while I was 
painting. His wife had a most fascinating and caressing 
manner, and was full of clever talk and originality. She 
took to me at once, and said it was delightful to meet any 
one who found pearls in every ugly oyster. 

Her son Hardinge, with whom she lived, was most excellent, 
and had made himself liked and respected by all his neigh- 
bours. He spoke Tamil well. Just at that time he was much 
away, as the cholera had broken out and he had to go about 
taking precautionary measures against it, working very hard 
in very unhealthy localities, to the horror of his mother, 
who did not hide her feelings about it, quite the contrary; 
she was always in a fidget about something. Their house 
stood on a small hill, jutting out into the great river which 
ran into the sea a quarter of a mile below the house. It was 
surrounded by cocoa-nuts, casuarinas, mangoes, and bread- 
fruit trees ; tame rabbits, squirrels, and mainah-birds ran in 
and out without the slightest fear, while a beautiful tame 
stag guarded the entrance; monkeys with gray whiskers, 
and all sorts of fowls, were outside. 

vin Ceylon and Home 315 

The walls of the rooms were covered with magnificent 
photographs; others were tumbling about the tables, chairs, 
and floors, with quantities of damp books, all untidy and 
picturesque; the lady herself with a lace veil on her head 
and flowing draperies. Her oddities were most refreshing, 
after the "don't care" people I usually meet in tropical 
countries. She made up her mind at once she would photo- 
graph me, and for three days she kept herself in a fever of 
excitement about it, but the results have not been approved 
of at home since. She dressed me up in flowing draperies 
of cashmere wool, let down my hair, and made me stand with 
spiky cocoa-nut branches running into my head, the noonday 
sun's rays dodging my eyes between the leaves as the slight 
breeze moved them, and told me to look perfectly natural 
(with a thermometer standing at 96) ! Then she tried me 
with a background of breadfruit leaves and fruit, nailed 
flat against a window shutter, and told them 'to look natural, 
but both failed; and though she wasted twelve plates, and 
an enormous amount of trouble, it was all in vain, she could 
only get a perfectly uninteresting and commonplace person 
on her glasses, which refused to flatter. 

She also made some studies of natives while I was there, 
and took such a fancy to the back of one of them (which she 
said was absolutely superb) that she insisted on her son 
retaining him as her gardener, though she had no garden 
and he did not know even the meaning of the word. As she 
could not flatter me by machinery, she did so by letter to 
one of her sisters, and read me a description of myself which 
might serve as an elegy when the subject has been put under 
the ground and out of the way of blushing. People often 
talk to me of the quickness with which young girls make 
friendships, but I never heard of any so quickly made as 
this with Mrs. Cameron ; and when I admired a wonderful 
grass-green shawl on her shoulders, she said, " Yes, that would 
just suit you," took a pair of scissors, cut it in half from 

316 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

corner to corner, and gave one half to me (which I have on 
at this moment). She had brought out a treasure of a maid 
called "little E," who made herself quite happy, and helped 
her mistress unselfishly and devotedly. 

While I was at Kalutara I saw the first live snake I had 
seen in Ceylon. I left my sketching chair under the trees 
when I went in to breakfast one morning, and on my return 
saw a beautiful bright-green thing on the back of it waving 
in the wind. My spectacles not being on, I thought some 
one had put down some new grass or plant for me, and put 
out my hand to take it, when it darted off and was lost, and 
" I did not remain ! " It was a riband -snake from the 
branches of the trees, said to be poisonous. Since that 
day I have always worn spectacles, and have seen no more 
live snakes. 

I left Kalutara in the midnight of the 21st of January 
1877, the whole family, including little E, going down the hill 
to the Judge's house with me to wait till the coach came. 
I had tried in vain to find some means of going by day over 
that beautiful high-road to Galle, but could not even get a 
bullock-cart, so was packed into the public conveyance with 
four natives and lots of bundles. They all crammed themselves 
into the least possible room, and the sea and palms were so 
beautiful that I almost think the enjoyment balanced the 
discomforts. After a day's rest at Galle I went on board the 
Scindh, a splendid French steamer, on the 24th, which brought 
me to Aden by the last day of the month, and to Naples on 
the llth of February. When I first went on board, my old 
friend Mrs. 'Arris pursued me : "Miss Gordon Gumming, I 
believe," said a tall Anglo-Indian, taking off his hat, and it 
took some argument to persuade him I was not that famous 

It was all summer as far as Aden, but the morning before 
reaching that place a sudden wave rushed in at the port- 
windows of the saloon as we were sitting at breakfast, and 

viii Ceylon and Home 3 1 7 

before they could be closed another wave followed it. We all 
mounted on the seats to get our feet out of the water. It was 
a most absurd scene, with three inches of water over the floor 
draining into all the side-cabins, and soaking all the luggage 
which happened to be on the floors. These waves were said 
to be the remnant of a recent storm, and no more came, but 
it was bitterly cold in the Red Sea. I never dared to leave 
the cabin and its stove ; but the French officers organised 
" regular marches round " three times a day, with the children 
and a band in regular tramp, to keep up the circulation, and 
had all sorts of active games puss in the corner, blind man's 
buff, and dancing, in which all the French joined, while the 
English looked on. The poor piano was also much tortured. 
One old Dutchman went on "trying" things for hours, while, 
another " tried " the violoncello most excruciatingly. It is 
strange how "a little music" is thought charming in a man, 
and how much a poor woman is required to do before she is 
even bearable. The party was not particularly interesting on 
board, but we had a large proportion of English gentlemen and 
ladies, and after all they are the most agreeable people one 
could meet in a ship. I seldom went on deck, but when I 
did I had all sorts of comfortable chairs pushed to me, shawls 
heaped on me, and other kind little attentions, and met with 
small unselfishnesses I did not find amongst other nations. 

A good-natured young red-haired officer sat opposite me at 
dinner, with a pretty little sister-in-law sent home with two 
small babies, to save her life. She was a mere child herself, 
only twenty ; and when she was ill, it was grand to see the 
young fellow cut up the children's food and carry it on deck. 
I only hoped they liked pepper, for he used to empty the 
castor over the plates. We had one horrid example of a 
Becky Sharpe a pretty woman in a blue satin dressing-gown, 
who used to hang up her poor child in a hammock in the 
passage half a mile from her cabin at night, with scarcely any 
covering over it. The poor little beauty was too frozen even 

318 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

to cry, and would certainly have died if a kind sailor on guard 
had not taken it to his own berth. The child was utterly 
neglected ; such a lovely little creature, with golden hair and 
blue eyes, looking as if they saw right through this mortal 
world and out at the other side on things we know not of. 
Every creature in the ship petted it, except its father and 
mother. One evening I found it on one of the farthest tables 
in the saloon, all alone, to be out of the way, the silent tears 
running down its face from positive fear, for the ship was 
rolling and it had nothing to hold on by. 

The good-natured Dutch mothers said its mother was not 
a woman but a devil ! How ugly they were ! I had not 
noticed it so much when living quite amongst them, but in 
that ship, among the English, French, and Italians, one saw 
it more ; and they still practised their slipslop kind of dress, 
only putting on more slipslops one over the other, as the 
climate got cooler, till they looked like barrels. 

The Anglo-Indians as a rule were innocent of foreign 
languages. I heard two of them grumbling over the wine 
carte : " So odd they put down neither Claret, nor Bordeaux, 
nor Burgundy ! Garqong ! avez vous Burgundy ? Macon ? no ; 
I don't want any of those second-class wines, I want good pure 
Burgundy." They took an amazing quantity of stimulating 
drinks, and mixed champagne with porter, ale, claret, etc., 
both men and women, in a way which proved them to have 
wonderful constitutions left, to survive it, in spite of the much- 
blamed climate. The children were great fun. I heard a 
little boy telling a group of others his discoveries at the other 
end of the ship : " Then I saw a mamma poodle dog, a papa 
poodle dog, and their whole family of poodle dogs ; and there 
was also a boy poodle, but the boy was very drunk." " How 
did you know he was drunk 1 " " Because whenever he was 
told to stand up or beg, he always tumbled down again." 

The colours about Suez were more lovely than ever ; every 
tint was pure, yet all harmonious, and all very faint, a mother- 


Ceylon and Home 319 

of-pearl shell the only thing like them; I wondered every 
time I passed why great artists did not go to paint there. 
Brett could do it as well as any one if he would. The wake 
of the ship, with the colours deepening as it came near out 
of the fairy-like distance, and a long perspective of sea-gulls 
following; the near ones were whiter than the white clouds, with 
bright green reflections on their lower side from the green sea 
below. The canal itself has an odd picturesqueness ; some- 
times it is a large ditch, then widening out into a broad lake, 
with the same delicate and pure colouring. 

We arrived at Naples on the llth of February. I had a 
twenty-franc piece and one or two Ceylon notes left in my 
pocket. It was Sunday, and I knew no bank would be open. 
The Carnival was going on, and tempted me to go and see it 
at Eome, rather than stay in Naples among strangers ; so I 
asked the stewards if they would change my Ceylon notes 
" Pardon, madame, but we do not take that money here." 
Then I asked them most humbly if they would accept a present 
of one as their fee " Yes, madame, with many thanks " 
(showing the difference between taking and giving !) One of 
my fellow-travellers changed my only remaining one, as he 
was going back in a couple of months. I landed through all 
the noise and ragamuffins, and drove to the railway station, 
where I had to wait four hours for the train, having telegraphed 
to my old friend, Miss Raincock, to expect me, and to get me 
a room in Rome. I bought a time-list, and made up my mind 
I could not afford to go first-class or to have any luncheon. 
The Jew boy at the bookstall helped me, telling me my money 
would go further if I changed it into paper, which the railways 
were obliged to take. He went with me across the street, saw 
I got the right exchange, and said I gained two francs in the 
transaction; then made me go and put my luggage in the 
baggage-room and get a ticket for it, as things were not safe 
in the lobbies there : he gave me to understand that the 
railway porters in Naples were all thieves. 

320 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

A nice Englishwoman who had an hotel near Naples came 
and talked to me, made me go and have a cup of coffee and 
put a glass of brandy in it before I started, when I found after 
all I could go first-class. It was very cold, and I was glad of 
the comfortable carriage and foot-warmer. The sunset was 
lovely over the beautiful Italian landscape. A pair of young 
Italians were kind to me, and insisted on my sharing their 
capital supper-basket ; and I felt quite rested, and so delighted 
to see my old friend at the station in the same funny old 
bonnet I had last seen her in, and the same dear old face 
under it. She had found a nice room for me near her own 
quarters. Although the cold was intense, I could not resist 
wandering through the glorious galleries of the Vatican, with 
their marble floors and thorough-draughts. We went to see 
the poor horses goaded on through the Corso, and all the 
trumpery show and masquerading, and I wondered how 
reasonable men and women could make such fools of them- 
selves. Rome was becoming more and more unattractive to 
me ; the outside alone was glorious. That wide Campagna, 
with its broken aqueducts and distant views of mountains and 
city, with the domes golden in the sunset or sunrise, the views 
from the Pincio, with the fine foliage in the foreground, are 
still lovely ; but its shops, palaces, dry old ruins, and con- 
ventional pictures, both old and new, attract me very little. 

After three days' freezing, I went on for two days' delicious 
sunshine in General MacMurdo's lovely garden at Alassio, 
then to see Mr. Lear at San Remo with his cosmopolitan 
gallery of sketches, my brother-in-law, Sir J. K. S., and my 
niece at Cannes. He has always been a most kind friend to 
me, and had written to me regularly every month all the 
time I was away. It grieved me to see how suffering he was. 
I stayed three days with him, and never saw him again, as 
he only returned to die a few months afterwards. I had 
promised Mrs. Cameron to convey a large china tea-pot in 
a straw cover to her sister, Lady Somers, at Cannes. It had 

vin Ceylon and Home 321 

been no little trouble to me, all the custom-house people 
persisting it was a barrel of spirits ! and when at last it was 
opened, I found to my horror the old lady had filled it full 
of Ceylon tea, which might have caused even more trouble 
if discovered by the officials. But it gained me the pleasure 
of seeing one of the most beautiful women who ever lived, 
and a beautiful face, like a beautiful flower, never fades from 
the memory. It is a pleasure for ever. 

I went straight through from Cannes to London in thirty- 
six hours, arriving at midnight on the 25th of February 1877. 
After which I enjoyed six months with my friends in London 
and in the country, the chief event being a visit the Emperor 
of Brazil paid to my flat at eleven o'clock on the 20th of June, 
when he looked at all my curiosities and paintings, and told 
me about my different friends in his country, forgetting 
nobody that he thought I was interested in, with his marvel- 
lous memory. (He took me, between two visits, to a prison^ 
and a museum !) Another event was, that same Kensington 
Museum sending The M'Leod and Mr. Thompson to look at 
my different paintings, asking me to lend them for exhibition 
in one of their galleries. Of course I was only too happy 
that they thought them worth the trouble of framing and 
glazing. I was still more flattered when I heard afterwards 
that in the cab on the way to my flat, Mr. T. had said to 
the Laird, "We must get out of this civilly somehow. I 
know what all these amateur things always are ! " but in the 
cab going back, he said, " We must have those things at any 

I employed the last few weeks of my stay in England in 
making a catalogue as well as I could of the 500 studies I 
lent them, putting in as much general information about the 
plants as I had time to collect, as I found people in general 
wofully ignorant of natural history, nine out of ten of the 
people to whom I showed my drawings thinking that cocoa 
was made from the cocoa-nut. 




I LEFT Southampton once more by the Tagus on the 10th of 
September 1877, touched for a few days each at Lisbon, 
Gibraltar, and Malta, and landed at Galle, in beautiful Ceylon, 
on the 15th of November, took my passage to Tuticorin by 
the next steamer, and spent some of the intervening days in 
visiting old friends in the island. 

Ceylon looked even more lovely than it did the year before. 
The cocoa-nuts, with their endless variety of curves, were always 
a marvel to me, how they kept their balance, with their heavy 
heads and slender trunks leaning over the golden sand, and 
within a few yards of the pure clear sea waves. The moon 
shone gloriously, silvering all the bananas and palm-trees, and 
the phosphorus glittered on the sea. 

I took a carriage from Pantura and drove ten miles to 
Kalutara. The road was a series of beautiful pictures all the 
-way. I found Mrs. Cameron much as I left her, the old man 
even younger and happier ; and I had the greatest difficulty 
in escaping without the other half of that green shawl, its 
enthusiastic owner running down a short cut to overtake 
my carriage and fling it at me again, but she missed her 
mark. Poor thing ! her life is over now. I wonder who 
wears that bit of green cashmere, and if it ever will meet my 
half again. 

I went to Peredeniya the next day, and up to the Botanic 

70 East of Greenwich. 


Startfbrctis Geog^Estabt 

London: MeLcmillazi & Co. 


India 323 

Garden to see my old friend the Director. I had a long 
stroll with the dear old man, who looked much aged, and so 
delicate that a touch might have knocked him down. The 
next morning I started before daylight to catch my steamer, 
but the heavy rains had broken down the roads, loosening 
great rocks which blocked the passage entirely. I had good 
friends who stuck by me all day. We met the Chief Justice, 
who shared the contents of a capital luncheon -basket with 
us, or we should have been starved, for there were no 
provisions on the sierra. We did not reach Colombo till 
5 P.M., when I found my steamer had left hours before, so 
I had another week to wait on the island. 

At last I embarked and had a good voyage to Tuticorin, in 
an excellent ship with pleasant passengers. There were 500 
coolies packed at the other end of the boat, returning to their 
homes, having acquired enough fortune by their labour to buy 
an umbrella and a woollen plaid apiece, and to pay their 
journey to see their friends, after which they would probably 
come back to earn more money. They were graceful figures 
of a beautiful dark bronze colour, very shiny, and loaded 
with bangles on arms and legs. They seemed always to live 
and to laugh on nothing. 

The captain did not half like letting me risk the six-miles' 
row over the sand-breakers in a loaded boat, but at last we 
started and had a good sea. We were two hours and a half 
landing, but got in dry, then had to scramble for rooms at the 
rest-house as the train had gone. Friends were kind to me 
as usual, and the next morning they started me with a basket 
of provisions in the train for Madura. 

The first part of my Indian journey was over white sand 
covered with palmyra- and fan-palms, and cacti ; then came 
cotton, quantities of millet, Indian corn, gram, and other 
grains. The richest crops were just ripening, and ought to be 
the best cure for famine. But I also saw many human wrecks, 
all skin and bone, quite enough to teach one what starving 

324 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

looked like. The stations were crammed with coolies, 
beautifully picturesque figures, loaded with bangles : some of 
these were as big as curling-hoops. 

Mr. Thompson met me at the Madura station, and took me 
home to his comfortable bungalow. 

The next day I was quite dumbfounded by the strangeness 
of the old Temple of Madura. It was full of darkness and un- 
canniness, with monkeys, elephants, bulls and cows, parrots, and 
every kind of strange person inside it. The god and goddess 
lived in dark central stalls to which no unbeliever is allowed 
entrance; but two small black elephants with illuminated 
faces, painted fresh in red and white every morning, wearing 
wreaths of flowers round their necks, were admitted into that 
"holy of holies," with a youth riding on the head of each, and 
carrying a silver vase of water. The dignity of that proceeding 
was tremendous. The elephants had attendants with tom-toms, 
great fans, and feather-flappers, to keep them cool and free 
from flies. At a particular spot near the centre the two 
separated and went off in different directions, one to the god, 
the other to the goddess, and were soon lost in the darkness. 
Each of the great beasts carried a heavy chain in its trunk, by 
which it was afterwards fastened up. They performed all 
sorts of tricks, refusing to pick up coppers ; silver, though it 
were only a tiny threepenny-bit, they always handed over to 
the attendant priests, a very ill-looking race. 

In these temples there is an endless variety of courts and 
columns, more grotesque than beautiful, with dragons, griffins, 
gods and goddesses, larger than life. In the entrance are 
money-changers, and all sorts of merchandise, a gorgeous 
variety of bright -coloured cloths with gold borders, which 
both men and women wrap round them like a petticoat all 
over India : these are made at Madura. In one part of the 
temple is a hall of a thousand pillars, all different. The judge 
took me to see all the temple jewels, which, if sold, might 
have helped to stop the famine in South India. The sapphires 

ix India 325 

were as big as nutmegs, and there were other grand stones in 
abundance. One elephant-cloth was gorgeous, all embroidered 
with seed-pearls, gold, and silver. The priests offered us a 
dance, and the dancing -girls began wriggling to their wild 
music, seeming just the right things for the place; but my 
friends did not approve of them, and we did not stop. 

I made a sketch of one of the small inner temples, in which 
the god and goddess were married every year. When we 
came away, wreaths of sweet trumpet-flowers were put round 
our necks, and a lime to smell in our hands (a very 
necessary luxury in such a locality). Dancing- women also 
came and saluted us. They attitudinised backwards and for- 
wards slowly, making angular movements of hand and arm, 
and muttering compliments, while a band of musicians ac- 
companied their movements with drum, fife, and voice, one 
old man jerking his head backward with every yell in a way 
that made one expect to see it roll off every moment. 

I painted a sunset view of the grand tank outside the town, 
with its island-temple and palm-trees, grand old banyan-trees 
and other temples on its edge. The English people drive 
round and round it every evening, and make that drive their 
chief gossiping spot. 

Starvation, floods, and fever were all round. The railway 
was washed away in nine places, and I could not have left 
it even if I had wished. The gardens were all flooded, the 
great river rising, tanks breaking on all sides. The pandanus 
pines alone seemed to enjoy it, being buried in water up to 
tops of their odd stilted roots. Every one was taking opium, 
so I followed the fashion, prevention being better than cure. 
The punkahs were kept going day and night, to blow away" 
the mosquitoes ; and if the punkah-pullers went to sleep, Anglo- 
Indians had squirts by their bedsides, to squirt water at them 
through the Venetian shutters. The natives had grown so 
much into the habit of expecting this, that they used to hold 
umbrellas over their heads (made of matting). They got two 

326 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

rupees a month for half a night's work. I saw some terrible 
remains of starvation about the streets. The relief-camp was 
on the other side of the river. It was so flooded that people 
could not cross without difficulty, and were constantly washed 
away and drowned, and I have seen them climb up the stone 
posts put to mark the ferry, and cling on to them for hours, 
till an elephant was sent to bring them on shore. 

The squirrels in the roof were a great amusement to me. 
I watched one of those tiny creatures playing close to me 
with its child. At last the young one got on its mother's back, 
was carried right up to the roof, and along the rafters to the 
corner where the nest was, when a whole tribe of little creatures 
with ridiculous tails came out to meet it, with much chattering. 
Then the old one came down to watch me again. They were 
very tame, and not longer than one's middle finger, with tails 
rather longer than themselves, and the most intelligent ears. 

The rain came on again worse than ever. It was impossible 
to get away and dangerous to stay. The river was overflowing, 
and we were only a couple of yards above it, tanks bursting 
on all sides. No road out of Madura was practicable for more 
than a mile : all were lost in the floods. 

At last I got away in a special carriage ordered for the 
judge and his wife, and we reached Dindigal at sunset, where 
Mr. M. met me, and drove me to his charming wife and home. 
They pressed me to stay and make an excursion to the Palani 
Hills, 8000 feet above them, which were most lovely ; but I 
could not linger, and at five o'clock I was in a long chair on 
the shoulders of four coolies, with eight more to relieve them, 
r and two peons to drive them on. They carried me splendidly 
along the broken railroad, changing one by one under the 
bamboo-poles without stopping, and setting me down to walk 
[ over the gaps and planks where the road was yet unmended. 
At last we reached some waggons, full of coolies, which took 
me to the train, and so into Trichinopoli, where Colonel F. 
met me and drove me out to his home at the camp. The 


India 327 

river here was broader than the Thames, but so shallow that 
people were walking through it in all directions, instead of 
over the noble bridge. The road beyond the bridge was 
arched over by the interlaced branches of banyan-trees, with 
their hanging roots tied up in knots to get them out of the 
way of the passengers' heads. The streets seemed very gay, 
after poor fever-stricken Madura. 

On the 24th of December 1877 I reached Tanjore by the 
earliest train, asked a policeman I saw to show me the way 
to the Doctor's, and walked under his porch about nine o'clock, 
to his great surprise, as he was sitting among his books deep 
in work, having expected me by a later train. Living with 
him was like living with a live dictionary, and was a delightful 
change. He had another clever man spending his Christmas x 
holidays with him, Dr. N., who had written a book about 
Indian snakes, and the two talked deliciously together. I 
had a delightful upper room full of windows, looking over 
some miles of country. My table was loaded with different 
valuable botanical books (including MSS.) An old ayah sat 
on the floor in a corner to wait on me and watch me, much to 
my discomfort, but as the doctor said it was absolutely neces- 
sary for her to do so, I submitted. He had all sorts of sacred 
Hindu plants ready for me to paint (he having undertaken to 
write their history at the same time, and to publish it some 
day with my illustrations). He made me feel quite at home, 
and in no hurry. He and his friend showed me the splendid 
temple, lingering over all its rare bits of carving and inscrip- 
tions till I felt at home there too. I know no building in its 
way nobler than that temple of Tanjore. The colour of its 
sandstone is particularly beautiful; its whole history is in- 
scribed round the basement in characters as sharply cut as if 
they were done yesterday. I did one large painting of the 
outside, driving every afternoon to the point of view I had 
chosen, where the Princess of Tanjore had ordered a small 
tent to be put up for me, and a guard of honour to attend me ! 

328 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

It was comical, but most luxurious. After the men had saluted 
me, they retired to a distance, and did not worry me. Dr. 
Burnell used to bring his papers and work there also when 
he had time ; he worked day and night, never resting. 

One afternoon we went by invitation to the Palace, in our 
best clothes. We drove in to the court through the gates, and 
were saluted by six elephants, all throwing up their trunks 
and roaring at us, much to the disgust of our big English 
horses, who had an especial dislike to them and to their ways. 
A flourish of drums and trumpets also greeted us, and his 
Excellency, the husband of the Princess, came down to meet 
us. He gave a hand to each, and led us under three scarlet 
umbrellas into a large hall, and up to the centre of it, over 
gorgeous carpets, till we reached a screen of silk interwoven 
with gold thread, chairs placed in a semicircle in front of it. 
Here I was delivered over to Miss Wolff, her Highness's 
English teacher, and led behind the mysterious curtain, 
where I found the Princess seated. After giving me her 
hand, she stooped down, lifted the curtain a little, and put 
out her hand for Dr. Burnell to take, who said such pretty 
things to her, that she kept her attention fixed nearly all the 
time on his talk with her husband on the other side of the 
curtain, thereby saving me the trouble of amusing her. She 
was a very pretty woman of perhaps thirty, with clear olive 
skin. Her head and limbs, nose and all, were loaded with 
ornaments, her toes all covered with rings and enormous 
anklets. Her drapery was of silver and gold embroidery, and 
she had a very sweet smile and voice. Behind her was a 
square frame like a shower-bath, covered with gold kincob, 
under which she walked when in public ; but, except on that 
one expedition to Delhi, she had never left home. She 
showed me the medal and ring given by the Queen-Empress. 

I felt a real pity for the poor secluded woman. She showed 
me photographs of all our Royal family, and a full-sized por- 
trait in oils of herself, done by a native artist, not from herself. 


India 329 

but from one of her little nieces who was supposed to be like 
her. The jewels and dress alone were taken from the real 
thing. I was asked the rather embarrassing question : " Was 
it not a good likeness ? " She gave me a photograph of her- 
self, with her autograph ; and when I asked how it was that 
a photographer was allowed to look at her or to do it, I was 
told he had his head in a bag, and was supposed not to be 
able to see her ! The husband sat at the corner of his side of 
the curtain, and looked round it at the Princess and myself, 
talking intelligently in good English to me, while Dr. Burnell 
talked in Tamil through the curtain to the poor woman. The 
little nieces were very pretty, with shining bronze skins, and 
draperies of green and red shot with pure gold. One of them 
has since married the Maharajah of Baroda, and their wedding- 
festivities lasted forty days. When we took leave, garlands of 
flowers were hung on our necks and wrists, we were sprinkled 
with rose-water, then led back by the great man to the carriage, 
in the same way we had come, looking like prize beasts, the 
little doctor with his thin worn face and long hair quite 
smothered by his flowers, real pink oleander, while I had a 
still more absurd artificial wreath covered with birds cut out 
in pith. 

The great man between us was gorgeous, though his 
beard looked as if it had been cut by himself in the dark 
with a blunt pair of scissors. Drums and trumpets and 
elephants all saluted us again, and a highly decorated camel 
performed some feats in our honour as we drove off. The 
next day the Princess sent us two great trays of sweet- 
meats and requested to have my photograph and address in 

The real hot weather came, and to me was enjoyable. I 
was very sorry to leave Tanjore and its good talk, such as 
I was little likely to meet for months to come. The F.'s put 
me up most kindly again, and the next morning the Colonel 
took me to Seringham, the largest temple I ever saw : a perfect 

330 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

city in itself, but very dirty and rubbishy. The view from 
the roof was the most curious part of it, and gave one the 
best idea of its great size. The terminalia trees produced a 
strange effect, with their rectangular branches and deep-red 
leaves. We dined with the Judge that night, who said I 
must also see the Sira Temple near Seringham ; he would send 
a peon to show me the way. So I went, and was glad, for in 
many ways it was more interesting and picturesque than the 

I reached Erode at sunrise the next morning, getting into 
a carriage full of sleeping people at five. It was all dark, and 
no lantern, all a muddle, but one of the men struck lucifer 
matches one after the other, till I had cleared a corner to sit 
in, and I watched the gradual coming of daylight. At noon- 
day I reached Matapolium, and after breakfast was packed 
into a small open carriage, with two ponies to drag it, not 
much bigger than cats. They went at full gallop all the 
way to the hole in the wood where the "Tongas" were 
kept. Into one of these I was transferred, and hoisted on the 
shoulders of six natives, who carried me up the hill beautifully, 
but fought continually among themselves, and at last got so 
much in earnest that they set me down on a narrow shelf 
under the most magnificent bank of hanging ferns and 
creepers, and after abusing one another till their eyes 
seemed starting out of their heads, they went "to have it 
out," rolling over one another on the ground, and trying to 
throw each other over the precipice. One old man alone kept 
clear of the row, and signed to me to be quiet also ; so we 
waited till the party of savages had fought enough, when 
they came back bleeding, picked me up again, and continued 
to jog on, and when they saw the end of their journey near, 
they got into the highest good-humour, and set up a monoton- 
ous chant, snatching flowers from the banks and flinging them 
on to my knees. Such flowers ! Verbenas, ipomoeas, scarlet 
rhododendrons ! They were delighted to get their extra 


India 33 1 

rupee, and deserved it, for they had taken good care of me, 
and the fighting was their own affair : if it amused them, it 
did me no harm. 

Grey's hotel at Kunur consisted of a number of small 
bungalows, dotted about on lovely terraces and gardens, round 
the central boarding-house, where the master and mistress 
lived, and had their chief kitchens. I had a most luxurious 
little house all to myself; it was furnished with carpets, 
fireplaces, four- post bedsteads, and every kind of English 
luxury and absurdity. An old woman kept the fire going of 
an evening, and washed my clothes ; and a grand man in a 
turban brought down four great covered dishes twice a day, 
with tea at seven and three. I interviewed the pompous old 
landlord, and went round his garden with the nice landlady. 
They had a heliotrope hedge six feet high, with a perfect 
mass of sweet flowers on it. The whole hillside was one 
sweet garden. The quiet was most delicious in my little house 
covered with lovely creepers, small scarlet and white passion- 
flowers, with exquisite tea-roses in abundance, and every other 
sweet flower, real wild rhododendron-trees all round. Every 
hill was tinged with red blossoms ; they were scraggy, shabby 
trees, not bigger than English apple-trees, the flowers decidedly 
poor, with a white eye, but of the deepest red. I took some 
walks through the rain and clouds. Then, as I felt my limbs 
and ankles beginning to swell and stiffen, I decided to avoid 
rheumatism by coming down again to a warmer climate, 
resisting an invitation to go and stay at Utakamund. 

A carriage brought me by a longer road, changing horses 
three times. The creepers were gorgeous: many kinds of 
passion-flower and ipomoea. One of the latter, a large white 
variety, with deep -purple tube and centre, was grand. It 
grew in great clusters lika coerulea. There was also a miniature 
copy of that one, which quite covered the trees it crept over, 
often weighing down a great bamboo. But there were no 
high forest-trees, as in Brazil or Borneo. A very little more 

332 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

rain would have rendered the roads impassable, so that I 
was glad I came down when I did. Great rocks and landslips 
narrowed it in many places, and the constant traffic of the 
bullock-carts ploughed it up. Those great beasts had their 
horns painted blue, green, yellow, and red, never a pair alike. 
The lower I got the more beautiful was the jungle, but also 
the more feverish, so I took the first train on to Podanur 
Junction, and camped for the night in the ladies' waiting- 
room, then went on again westward, along the banks of a 
sandy river-bed, often full of beasts and of people enjoying 
the cool water, while on the other side were the Nilgherry 
hills piled one over the other. 

At Beypur I found a large room over the station, a hundred 
yards from the sea, with a garden between me and it. Also 
a servant engaged for me by a friend of Dr. Burnell, who had 
come from Cochin on purpose to attend on me. I enjoyed 
being at Beypur close to the sea, with no dirty town. I could 
walk on the rocks and sands, watching the shrimps, crabs, 
and other queer creatures in their own home-circles. I found 
an old Scotchman, who gossiped on the little pier as he would 
have done at home, and was delighted to find a new listener. 
I made a long sketch of the river and distant mountains, 
with endless cocoa-nuts in the middle distance, ferry-boats, 
and picturesque people. It was very pleasant sitting on the 
clean sand, but it was hot. The jack -crows were the chief 
objection to my quarters at Beypur. They flew in at the 
window and stole every small thing they saw ; I caught one 
just hopping off with a tube of my precious cobalt one 
day, and only came into the room just in time to make him 
drop it. 

I had been waiting some days for the steamer, but suddenly 
determined, from what I was told, to go to Cochin by back- 
water instead; so went by rail to Shoranur, then took two 
bullock-carts, with noble sleek beasts in each, put my man 
Alex, and the trunks in one, myself in the other on a clean 


India 333 

mat and pillows. The driver sat on the pole, pinching the 
bullock's back and tail with his fingers, first one, then the 
other, then both at once, and da capo. At dark I arrived at 
Trichur, where we found the only two big boats were out, 
so I decided to sleep at the travellers' bungalow, and to take 
a small one in the morning. I made myself some good tea 
in my machine, and started before daylight in a canoe, with 
a fair breeze to fill the sail, which was made of six mats 
sewn together. The canoe was about a yard wide, and had 
a seat between the two roofs of matting, on which it was 
too sunny to sit. But I kept near it, so as to see well out. 
Alex, was under the other roof, and two men and a boy 
made the whole crew. It was most enjoyable. Sometimes 
we were in a big lake, so shallow that people and storks 
paddled about amongst the red and white floating nymphseas, 
sometimes in narrow canals, where tall cocoa-nuts rested 
their heavy heads against one another from the opposite 
banks, with little huts under them full of amphibious, jolly- 
looking mortals, who passed half their lives in the water 
collecting a kind of bivalve shell-fish, squatting in the shallow 
streams and scraping them up in their fingers, to be deposited 
in floating baskets by their sides. They made curry of the 
fish, and the shells were made into lime. 

We were continually passing strange birds perching on 
tree-stumps, or fishing among the flooded rice -beds. They 
were so tame that some of the long-legged species used to 
march along beside the boat as if they liked company. We 
also passed lovely lilies, floating or standing just out of the 
water, both pink and white. While the sunset was still 
gorgeous, Alex, wanted to shut the boat up, and to put a 
mat over the central opening between the two roofs. I 
resisted, and insisted in keeping the light and air, for there 
was also a glorious moon rising. After that my treasure of 
a servant went raving mad, sobbing, screaming, throwing his 
arms about like a maniac, finally he threw himself and the 

334 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

roof over him into the water, which quieted him for a few 
moments. Then he began again : "0 God, God, Jesus, 
Maria, save me ! save me ! O my wicked soul, God, God ! " 
etc. Always the same cries, louder and louder, and in English. 
I scolded him well, told him he was either mad or drunk, 
piled my two trunks on the top of the seat in the middle of 
the boat as a barricade, and went to the farthest end of my 
roof, leaving him scowling and muttering, "It displeaseth 
me that you think me mad or drunk ! " It struck me he 
might perhaps avenge the insult to his feelings, so I kept my 
candle-box close to my hand, and got as near the steersman 
as I could, and did not sleep. He raved all night, but at 
daybreak we arrived in Cochin, and he was sober again, 
carried my things into the rest-house and left them there. 

Cochin was full of Christians and beggars. I went out 
for a stroll past the old church and Frank settlements and 
through the Jews' quarter, saw the synagogue which Dr. 
Burnell said was built in the seventh century, Cochin having 
been a port to which the old Egyptians used to traffic ; later 
still King Solomon himself sent his ships there. 

I started at four in the afternoon in a big cabin boat, 
with thirteen men and a tame old Moslem as a servant, 
instead of poor Alex., whose infirmities were well known in 
Cochin. My crew made a frightful noise all night, singing 
and rowing furiously. We passed over huge inland seas, 
rivers, and narrow canals again, and reached Quilon about 
twelve the next day. I decided to rest the night there in 
the bungalow, which is a mile from the river, and deliciously 
airy, surrounded by cashew and mango trees. The former 
is quite the weed of the country, and the air was sweet with 
the scent of its abundant flowers. It was perfectly quiet 
up there too, though my boatmen did come up and camp 
round me. They only sang when their oars were going, 
and we walked back to the boat at four in the morning, 
through the bright moonlight. Thence on to Nevereya, 


India 335 

where we left the boat and crossed the boundary in a bullock- 
cart. We went on in another canoe, hollowed out of one 
long tree, for twelve hours more, stopping to breakfast at a 
cocoa-nut farm within a stone's throw of the salt sea on one 
hand, and the backwater canal on the other. 

Trivandrum is a model little capital, buried among tall 
trees. I stayed there with Dr. Houston, who got me rare I 
plants, and told the men where to take me to see the prettiest j 
views and to sketch. The little toy houses were something 
between Tyrolese and Arab, with tiny double-arched windows 
and slender marble shafts, so small that one could not get 
one's head through them. I met the Maharajah taking his 
walk one day. He shook his hand at me, and said, " I hope 
you are quite well." He always said that to all Europeans. 
There was a fine old temple, and a large holy tank. Twenty 
Europeans lived in Trivandrum, who came together on certain 
days when the band played in the gardens, to cut one another 
systematically, and to talk scandal. 

I returned to Cochin very much done up, and hoped for 
a few days' rest, but heard that the steamer for Bombay 
would be in that afternoon, so had to be ready, and got 
well over the bar at the mouth of the harbour, and on board 
the very nicest little steamer I was ever in, the Kliandala of 
the British India Line. It had but one objection to its 
comfort the enormous armies of small red ants which swarmed 
in it. Bed, food, hair, portmanteaux, every place was full of 
them. Cans and bottles all had muslin tops tied on them, 
through which one had to pour the water. Those ingenious ~ 
little creatures had a particular liking for a sponge; no 
matter how I hung mine, they were sure to find it out, and 
a long red living line was drawn up the wall or ceiling, and 
over the string into the sponge, which became alive with 
them, and it took me some time to weed them all out before 
I dare use it, for the tiny creatures stung if crushed or 

336 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

The entrance to Bombay is very striking, with its numerous 
islands and abundant shipping. We got there at daylight. 
I was sorry to see the number of hideous factory chimneys 
and coal smoke, which are doing their worst to make Bombay 
as ugly as Liverpool. But the old town is most picturesque, 
with high houses and narrow streets full of life and colour, 
dirt and untidiness. Curiosities from the whole world are 
collected in those streets. I was not allowed to stay at the 
hotel. Sir Eichard Temple's secretary, Major R, sent to ask 
me to move at once to Government House; then when I 
begged to be excused till the next day, on account of the ball 
that night, for which I had no proper dress, he sent down his 
brougham and ordered me to return at once; so resistance 
was of no use, I went as desired, and had a delightful set of 
rooms given me, opening on to the rocks, some hundred feet 
over the sea, at the extreme end of Malabar Point, with far 
sea- views on three sides of me, and delicious air. The ball- 
room and other state-rooms stood by themselves, surrounded 
by a wide verandah and garden, with bungalows for guests, 
and for the suite on the other side, each building detached 
from its neighbours. 

That night the verandah and garden were illuminated with 
Japanese lanterns, the supper being under an open tent out- 
side, gorgeous carpets laid down everywhere. There were 
some four hundred people gorgeously dressed, a few black- 
coated men amongst them, some Parsis with their wives, and 
other native men looking like fish out of water under the 
glittering chandeliers, mixed up with red coats and the low 
dresses of the English ladies. (My old turned black silk was 
perhaps still more incongruous.) The Governor, however, 
walked me about round and round all the rooms and gardens, 
as if I were a grandee, telling me about every one, and all their 
histories and belongings, with as much minuteness as any 
gossipy old lady. He had only just returned from a two 
months' famine tour, and was to start off in two or three days 


India 337 

on another, but told me to make my headquarters always at 
his house, and to go and come as it suited me, while I stayed 
in India. He seemed never to rest. Whatever he did he did 
with all his might, putting his whole energy into it for the 
time being ; but he could no more stretch out time enough for 
all than I could (and time has been my constant enemy all 
my life). He had untiring strength, and demanded more 
from those about him than people with less power of hard 
work could bear with impunity. 

The sunrise every morning from the rocks behind my room 
was beautiful. It used to come up like a round red ball 
behind the purple hills and hanging smoke of the city some 
five miles off, and the red -coated servant used to bring my 
chota hazm or early breakfast out on that rock to me every 
morning. Around me were wild peepul-trees, full of berries ; 
erythrina- trees, with their red flowers just opening, and wild 
cherries. Below all was the sea, and a perfect fleet of boats 
with bright sails going off after fish. The first morning Sir 
Eichard Temple gave me a walk before breakfast, showed me 
all the odd trees, the beautiful stable of horses, and the great 
stretch of brown rocks, up which a perpetual stream of women, 
came, carrying water-jars on their shoulders, full of salt water 
for the roads. Every afternoon the carriage drove to " the 
Mole," about six miles off, where every other carriage in 
Bombay and all the fashionable people also went, for no parti- 
cular purpose but to look at one another. I went once or 
twice with Mrs. E. C., but did not find it entertaining. The 
Parsi ladies made a great show about all the public places of 
Bombay, as they dressed in the very brightest China silks, and 
seemed for ever walking about showing off their newly-acquired 
liberty with uncovered faces; but they spoiled their beauty 
by wearing a tight band just over their eyes like nuns, hiding 
all their hair. The rich natives all seemed to delight in 
driving about in English carriages drawn by fine horses. 

Mrs. C. very kindly found me a servant, a Madras man, 


338 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

who called himself John. He had a gorgeous turban, bright 
black eyes, and most limp long figure. He and I started off 
by rail for Neral, after a week of luxurious idleness at 
Government House ; and there I mounted a pony and rode 
up to Matheran, which, Mr. Lear had written me, was " a 
highly Divine plateau." The views were certainly fine, having 
strangely shaped rocky hill-tops in the middle distance, with 
almost vertical strata of different coloured trap rising some 
2200 feet from the great plain and distant sea and islands 
about Bombay. The colours were magnificent. The floating 
clouds blended the whole into exquisitely rich pictures. 
The air up there too was refreshing after that of the hot 

A few bored European soldiers were the only inmates of 
the hotel. All were depressed with having nothing to do ; the 
monkeys alone seemed busy, and the trees swarmed with 
them. They were so tame that they hardly took the trouble 
to get out of my way as I rode up the hill, looking upon me 
decidedly as an intruder, and thinking me very rude not to go 
up the trees and get out of their way, who had the business 
of life to attend to, and were collecting nuts and fruit for their 
wives and families; and when I saw the depressed loafers 
around walking on two legs I did not wonder at the monkeys' 
contempt for them. 

But a few days were enough at Matheran, and I rode 
down, took the rail on to Lanawali over a magnificent 
piece of engineering, up the Bhor Ghat, one of the finest 
bits of scenery I ever saw. No one going to India should 
miss that ascent, though, like myself, he went no farther 
than Lanawali, where there is an excellent small hotel on the 
top of the pass, on a flat broad valley or filled -up lake, sur- 
rounded by mountain -tops, all running into very horizontal 
strata, gold, pink, and brown in the sunlight, with shadows of 
the purest purple. The plain was covered with golden stubble, 
fine trees dotted about, and stacks of rice and corn were built 

ix India 339 

up on stilts or in the middle of the spreading trees. Flocks 
and herds were grazing all about, with picturesque figures of 
men and women to look after them. 

I had the house to myself, and thoroughly enjoyed it ; but 
my chief object in coming there was to visit the Cave of 
Karli, and I had asked the station-master at Khandala to send 
me a pony. " Pony no got come," the man said, and after 
waiting an hour I set off to walk. My man misunderstood 
the directions, and did not believe in any one wanting to go to 
Karli ; so I walked down nearly to Khandala, then met the 
pony coming up at a canter. At last we came to the final 
climb over the hard volcanic rocks, and first to a splendid tree 
of the Jonesia Asoka, full of orange flowers and delicate young 
lilac leaves. The priest of the temple found me one fine 
flower growing through a honeycomb full of honey, which had 
been built round its stem. Now this was a very curious thing. 
Did the buds push their way through the honey and wax, or 
was the thing built quickly round them 3 I never satisfied 
myself which was the first perfected. The cave itself, more 
interesting than beautiful, is accurately described by Mr. 
Fergusson, who also gives an engraving of it in his History of 
Indian Architecture. While I was sketching outside it a very 
sacred man came out, all painted and whitened, and produced 
a pot of red paint, which he daubed over several of the carvings, 
with a defiant look at me ; I believe as a sort of precaution 
against the effects of my evil eye. I took his portrait, and as 
he did not take mine I think I had the best of it. He was 
dressed in yellow paint and a red mantle. . . . 

The steam-launch had been ordered by the Governor him- 
self, before he left Bombay, to take me to the Island of 
Elephanta, and on my return I spent a day among its strange 
old idols and semi -darkness, looking out from it on the 
dazzling blue sea and sky, lilac hills, and graceful fan-palms. 
Strange that such a dry spot should be so feverish ! But the 
poor man who lived near it and acted as guardian, said he was 

34-O Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

never without fever, and every one who had tried to live 
there had suffered in the same way. 

On the 26th of February I left Bombay at eight in the 
morning. A railway took me up another splendid pass to 
Nasik Eoad, where I transferred myself, my luggage, and John 
into two low dog -carts, drawn by ponies, with the driver 
sitting astride on the pole, his feet clasped under it. At the 
end of the pole was a crossbar, which rested against the 
ponies' shoulder, over a pad, and was simply kept in its place 
by a loop of rope. The little things went at a great pace, and 
took about an hour to drag us over seven miles. Sir George 
Campbell wanted to make Nasik the capital of India. It is 
certainly a most picturesque old town, with steep busy streets 
gaudily coloured and carved in wood and stone; the river 
banks lined with temples most beautifully ornamented, and 
paved with stone, having grand nights of steps, and many 
causeways across. It looked like a series of tanks rather than 
a river. To the Hindus it was very sacred. Their long series 
of temples led to its very source, which was said to be refilled 
by the Ganges itself once in every thirteen years, by under- 
ground and rather incomprehensible channels. There was a 
perpetual fair going on by the river banks, among all the 
temples ; crowds of gaily-dressed people were always bathing, 
washing, and filling their chatties or water- jars, far too many 
i ^tor any comfort in sketching. I was overwhelmed with the 
1 amount of subjects to be painted, and could do nothing well. 
The streets were as attractive as the river, particularly the 
metal-bazaars, where every one seemed to be trying who could 
make most noise. Some of the old chatties of mixed copper 
and brass were tempting to buy, but too heavy to carry, and I 
resisted the temptation. 

We drove out a few miles from Nasik to an isolated round 
hill, which had a complete circle of cave-temples round it called 
the Chenmar Luna, with three hundred steps leading up to 
them. Many were much ornamented and coloured inside, and 


India 341 

the views over the plain of the Godavery were fine. It was 
cold in the night and early morning, and I had to wear gloves 
to keep my hands from being chapped and frozen. We had 
nine hours of dust and jolting on to Aurungabad, changing 
ponies every six miles. I found a nice bungalow there, and, 
after a bath, had time to drive round the town before dark. 
It belonged to the Nizam. Its people were a wild set, who 
seemed rather inclined to mob me when I tried to do some 
shopping. My change was given me in cowrie shells. The 
great sight was a tomb of King Aurangzib's beautiful daughter 
an imitation of the Taj in white marble, looking very pure 
amongst the green trees and flowers which surrounded it. 

The next morning we went on to Daulatabad, the famous 
Indian fortress. It has 120 feet of sheer perpendicular 
precipice all round it, and many subterranean passages, 
stairs, and halls, through which one must pass to get to its 
top. I saw a tiger-trap outside, which had lately caught its 
game, a sick kid being the bait. After leaving that horrible 
fortress, we drove on to another ruined city Eoza, which has 
some very beautiful mosques, and tombs of kings, with doors 
of silver and gold, and half-precious stones in the inlaid pave- 
ments. In one of these tombs, four large earthenware 
chatties were hung between each arch, for the doves to build 
their nests in. They would have made a pretty study of 
white and gray. It was a curious change to come suddenly 
among Moslem things and ways again. Just outside the walls 
of Eoza was the edge of the high table-top and precipice. The 
whole was covered with tombs of all sorts ; one large one had 
been fitted up as a mess-bungalow by the officers at Aurunga- 
bad. I had leave to stay there for two nights. It was an 
octagonal building, with a domed roof, and high arched 
recesses : a most delicious room, comfortably furnished, and 
supplied with shilling railway novels ! 

A mile farther down the steep road was Ellora, where I 
found twenty-four caves of every age and variety of design, 

34 2 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

but all insignificant compared to the great Kylas, which is a 
perfect cathedral, standing on the backs of some hundred 
elephants, nearly as large as life, all cut out of the solid rock. 
I never saw any building so impressive and so strange. The 
front of the temple is level with the face of the cliff, which 
surrounds it on the three other sides. They seem to have 
begun by cutting a deep moat round those three sides, so as to 
leave the square block in the centre detached, after which 
they excavated the different halls and staircases, covering the 
whole with the richest and most fantastic carving. Galleries 
are cut in the outer surface of the surrounding cliff, by 
which one could get the best views of the huge building at 
different levels. It happened to be a Hindu festival while I 
was there. People came to the caves from all parts, and 
camped outside, which made it still more exciting and pictur- 
esque. My attempts at painting were much hindered by the 
ants, which seemed to have an especial taste for oil-paints, and 
they ate a good deal of me up too on their way to my palette. 
I wished I could have had a tent and plenty of time in such an 
interesting place, for such buildings could not be sketched in 
a hurry. In the plain below were grand tanks, tombs, and 
trees, and a kind of fair was going on among them. 

At 2 A.M. I was rolling on again, in one of the comfortable 
carriages of the G. I. P. Railway, and slept nearly all the way. 

The old town of Jabalpur is full of picturesque bits ; one 
tank especially, surrounded by lime-trees, white temples, and 
palaces. Masses of picturesque boulder-stones are scattered 
about in the neighbourhood of the town, with houses and 
tombs under and over them. Some seven miles off are the 
famous Marble Rocks, so cold and hard, dipping their perpen- 
dicular scarps into deep green water, with the most exact 
reflections under them. A good bungalow is built on a hill 
above quite an ideal place for an artist to stop at ; and on the 
banyan-tree hanging over the house was a group of half-tame 
monkeys, who were accustomed to being fed by the people 

ix India 343 

who made picnics there, and were most impertinent. One of 
them nearly ran off with a paint-brush I dropped, but found 
me too quick for him, and retreated chattering. 

I started at night again for Agra, which I reached on the 
morning of the 14th of March. The ground all round the 
city was pure dust, one ate it, breathed it, drank it, slept in 
it, but the place was so glorious that one forgot the dust 
entirely. I went that same afternoon to the Taj, and found it 
bigger and grander even than I had imagined ; its marble so 
pure and polished that no amount of dust could defile it ; the 
building is so cleverly raised on its high terrace, half-hidden 
by gardens on one side, and washed on the other by the 
great river Jumna. The garden was a dream of beauty; the 
bougainvillea there far finer than I ever saw it in its native 
Brazil. The great lilac masses of colour often ran up into the 
cypress-trees, and the dark shade of the latter made the flowers 
shine out all the more brightly The petrsea also was dazzling 
in its masses of blue. Sugar-palms and cocoa-nuts added their 
graceful feathers and fans, relieving the general roundness of 
the other trees. The Taj itself was too solid and square a 
mass of dazzling white to please me (as a picture), except 
when half hidden in this wonderful garden, though on the 
river side it was relieved by wings and foundations of red 
sandstone. The gates, which are chiefly of that beautiful 
material, would in themselves be worth a journey to see, so 
graceful and exquisitely finished are they. It was some days-n 
before I mounted the terrace and went inside. Like a great I 
snow-mountain, I felt I wanted to know it well from a dis- 
tance before I dared approach nearer ; but the more I studied 
it, the more I appreciated its marvellous detail and general 
breadth of design. The interior is most elaborately inlaid 
with jasper, serpentine, amethyst, and other half -precious 
stones many of which have been ruthlessly picked out by 
barbarians of different tints. The old palace-rooms in the 
Fort were even more lovely in their way ; and I used to go 

344 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

there every afternoon, and to the Taj in the morning. Some 
of the balconies hanging over the old walls of the fortress 
seemed too fine for human beings to live in. I feared to break 
them with my weight as I wandered about them, with their 
windows of marble lace-work, all so pure. 

My friends drove me over to Sikandra, the tomb of Akbar, 
a wonderful building with magnificent gates, standing in a 
large walled park full of fine trees. The patterns on the 
marble tomb at the top of all were exquisite, and I spent a 
morning in trying to trace them. The tomb now has nothing 
but sky over it. Fergusson said it was intended to have a 
marble dome ; the judge said no, only an awning. I think 
both : a dome in the centre merely to cover the tomb, and an 
awning stretched from it to the side to shelter the pilgrims 
who came to visit it. One night I went with Mrs L. to see 
the Taj by moonlight. " All the world" was there, with a 
band, ices, tea, and scandal. I preferred it by daylight, 
with its setting of trees and coloured flowers, and perfect 

I was not home till one o'clock, and the next morning off 
to Sikandra at six ; and after a long day's work on the roof, I 
dressed at the bungalow, had a bath, and tea, and drove to 
^line at Judge E.'s on my way home. The next day I had a 
touch of fever, and went to Fatehpur for three days' change, 
to try and cure it. My lodging was a two-storeyed building, 
ornamented inside and out with a perfect sampler of marvel- 
lous stone embroideries, every panel being of a different 
pattern, in red sandstone, and all too perfect to be picturesque. 
There were many other exquisite houses and palaces, with 
great paved courts between them. Even the beams in the 
roof were made of stone; they were fifteen feet long, supported 
by deep niches and hanging pomegranates. A lovely marble 
mosque and tomb were also on that flat hill-top, with walls and 
gates all round, all too perfect, though entirely deserted, 
Akbar having left the place and moved his capital to Agra. 


India 345 

It was a melancholy scene of desolation, without any growing 
things to humanise the dry stones. I was too ill to do much 
else than doze, and trace a few of the patterns. I began to 
hate all architecture, however beautiful, and to long for green 
growing things again. 

I saw odd things on the road back to Agra : six camels 
carrying six haystacks ; camels pulling double-storeyed human 
cages on wheels at a trot; and the common cab or ekkeh, 
with a high shower-bath awning over the passengers, who sat 
on their own heels under it, with a wheel on each side of them, 
the driver on the pole between two bullocks, pinching their 
backs with his finger-ends continually to keep them going. 

But I was very ill, and found it of no use fighting longer 
with the dry heat of Agra, so started by the rail at nine at 
night for Bareilly. At five in the evening of the next day we 
started again, in a great box on wheels, with a board to put 
up between the seats to make a bed of, changing horses every 
six miles. So we jolted through the darkness, stopping in 
the middle of the night to feed. I drank five bottles of soda- 
water that night, and still felt thirsty, and wondered I sur- 
vived it. But at daylight we were close under the mountains, 
and we turned in among them, and stopped at Kanibagh, a 
place with large mango-trees all loaded with bloom, and a 
running river below, which did one's eyes good to see after 
the months of dust. I felt better, and could eat again, and 
after a night's rest was carried up the hills in a dandy (by two 
bearers at a time, changing places every five minutes), in four 
and a half hours, to Naini Tal. In spite of the earliness and 
dryness of the season, I saw many beautiful flowers : great 
masses of blue plumbago, pink gentian, white and pink 
bauhinia, and the judas tree, a perfect mass of pink without 
any leaves. Other bushes were covered with small red or 
blue flowers, looking like almond or peach blossom. The 
hills were marvellously blue, piled one over the other beyond 
them. I never saw such abundance of pure colour ; but they 

346 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

said in a few days all that blossom would shake off, and I 
found it was so. "When I returned a few days after to sketch, 
it was already gone. 

At the top of the pass, I came suddenly on bazaars and 
a bustling native village, then descended to the lovely green 
lake, with a road on each side, high hills all round, dotted 
with English villas, and a little town at the farther end all 
very unpicturesque. The Anglo -Indian, having apparently 
been tired, like myself, with the amount of exquisite buildings 
on the plain below, had determined to make those he built 
here as prosy and ugly as possible, and had succeeded admir- 
ably. I was the second arrival of the season, and had the best 
rooms in the hotel, on the ground-floor, with a delicious balcony 
in front, in which I sat and rested in a " long chair " all day, 
and looked out at the lovely lake and wooded hillside 
opposite. People were always going and coming, giving me 
entertainment unknowingly. I was shaded by pretty ilex 
trees, with white buds and white backs to the leaves, pinkish 
young shoots, and feathery flowers. Scarlet rhododendrons 
and white clematis were almost the only flowers out. The 
air and sun were delightful, though it was really cold at night. 
The lake gave a certain moisture to the air, which I had long 
been wanting. 

One young officer, with a retriever -dog, shared the big 
house with me, and was kind. My servant was kind also in 
his way; he delighted in bringing me food, watching every 
mouthful greedily I did not swallow, and which he could stow 
away afterwards in his greasy bundle or brass pot. But I had 
a letter of introduction to Dr. Cleghorn ; sent for him, and 
asked him to doctor me, which he did in the kindest way, and 
most efficiently. 

In less than a fortnight I was a new creature, and able to 
walk over the hills, which were just then showing their spring 
foliage. My one officer had increased to eight before I left. 
Each of them had one or two dogs, and they were all very 


India 347 

good to me, the one lady. But the snow also came down into 
the valley, so I determined to go down again, to seek my 
sacred plants in the Saharanpur gardens. 

The last day in Naini Tal I spent shivering over an unwill- 
ing fire in a room too dark to work in, from the clouds. I 
found it difficult to get men to carry me down. The natives 
have a perfect horror, like cats, of getting wet. John got ten 
together before breakfast, and showed them to me, all huddled 
up in a circle, looking like bundles of damp dark blankets. 
After breakfast all but three had decamped, though it was not 
actually raining. We could not wonder at their dread of 
getting that one garment wet, poor things. My friends, the 
nine young officers, all offered me waterproof sheets and cloaks. 
I took one to cover my knees, and started at last, greatly 
delighted at the prospect of getting warm again. All the 
blossoms which had made the way up so lovely were gone, 
but the lower valley was lined with the " sal " (Shorea robus- 
tea) in full bloom, a perfect cascade of yellowish-white flowers 
scenting the air, like our own lime-flowers in May. It is one 
of the best of Indian timber-trees. 

At Eanibagh, at the foot of the hills, troops of helpless 
women and children were trooping up in different stages of 
fever and limpness. The bungalow was overflowing, and the 
one strong practical Englishman was wanted everywhere, 
cuffing and kicking obstinate coolies, making bargains, holding 
babies, cording up extraordinary packages, helping every one. 
Not "his" work, he said, for he had come in for rest, but 
he could not bear to see those poor English women and 
children, left to the mercy of native servants alone. Between 
whiles he sat and talked to me, and told me of a lovely lake 
near, quite covered with pink lotus flowers. I took one of 
the returning carriages to Bareilly, then on by Aligarh to 
Saharanpur. The next morning I drove to the gardens soon 
after daylight, and called on Mr. Duthie, almost before he was 
dressed ; but he soon came down, and walked about the gardens 

348 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP. 

with me. He found out the trees I wanted, few of which were 
yet in flower, but he said he would let me know in time to 
come down and paint them, even if I were up in the hills. He 
had expected me for some time, and had arranged with Doctor 
and Mrs. J. to take me in when I came. I very soon knew 
every one in Saharanpur, but I did not stay long, as my plants 
were still some way from flowering. 

On the 24th of April I started in a dawk carriage (a heavy 
wooden close fly) for Rurki, where we crossed a fine bridge, 
guarded by two splendid stone lions, over the Ganges Canal, 
which is one of the grandest pieces of engineering in the whole 
world not a sluggish ditch, but a rushing snow-fed river. 
There were massive locks and gates, looking solid as the work 
of old Egypt. I was suddenly asked where I was going, and 
had not the least idea, beyond remembering that it was to the 
house of the Head of the College for Engineers. We soon 
found Major B. in the road, looking out for me, and his wife 
gave me a most kind welcome and a comfortable room. 

The next morning Major T., the head of the canal works, 
called on me in his dog-cart, and drove me up the edge of the 
canal to Hardwar. It was one hundred and seventy feet wide 
in some parts, and ten feet deep. The rivers (then dry) which 
rushed across it in the rains were taken, some over, some 
under it, in a very ingenious way. Major J. drove the most 
beautiful thoroughbred horse, and had sent on two others to 
different stations, so that we went very fast, and arrived at 
his bungalow at the junction of the river and canal in time 
for breakfast ; after which he took me to my own quarters a 
delightfully airy little house at the very upper end of the fork, 
with rushing water on three sides of me, and Hardwar about 
a mile above me. I could just see a few of its domes and 
towers through the trees, with lilac hills beyond, and the 
snowy mountains over them (when the clouds allowed them 
to be visible). It was not picturesque, but decidedly whole- 
some quarters. 


India 349 

The colonel commanding the district sent up a peon with 
John and the luggage, to stay and take care of me, and an 
elephant was put at my command ; but one ride was enough. 
I did not enjoy his slow, slouching walk and high-over-every- 
bodyishness. I had a quilt to sit on, with only his driver's turban 
to catch hold of if I got nervous ; and when he went quite to 
the edge of the bank I felt my feet hanging over the rushing 
waters beneath. It did seem a risky seat; but there was 
really no danger, his back was so broad. He would have 
carried me down the steep bathing-steps to the water, where 
the holy fish eat the holy Brahmins, if I had not cried out, 
" Stop ! " 

The town was a perfect museum of rare old buildings, mar- 
vellously carved and painted. On one wall was represented 
the taking of some city by the English, who fired off cannon 
like pistols, and had a brandy-bottle under the other arm. 
We went on beyond the town and through the river, till we 
came to the last canal -dam. There we descended from the 
top of the big beast, and trusted ourselves to a small bamboo 
trustle bedstead fastened to the inflated skins of four huge 
beasts, something between buffalo and deer, which floated on 
the water, with their legs in the air, looking most helpless and 
imbecile. Head and all were shaped naturally, and all the 
flesh and bones extracted in some ingenious way through one 
leg, which was tied up and tightened with a stick. The Major 
and I sat on the frail bit of basket-work, and two men rested 
their bodies on the outer skins, paddling with their feet, and 
brought us down the river very quickly, perfectly smoothly, 
and safely. We were landed close to my home. After this 
first experiment, I had these two men, carrying their deer-skins 
on their heads and shoulders, following me every morning 
when I went to sketch, after which I floated back in the same 
easy way to breakfast. 

Hardwar is like Benares, all on one side of the river, and 
from the opposite bank one gets the finest view of its strange 

350 Recollections of a Happy Life CHAP, 

old buildings, built at different times and by different races of 
Hindus, in all kinds of fantastic architecture, backed by 
wooded cliffs and hills. I used to work hard all day, and then 
went over to the other bungalow to dine with the Major in 
the evening. One night a tremendous thunderstorm came on. 
It was dark as pitch ; every lantern was blown out as soon as 
lighted; the ground flooded with water; but as there was 
every prospect of its going on all night, I started right ahead, 
and nearly ran into an aloe hedge. The Major and his servants 
all tumbled about in other directions among the big trees, and, 
strange to say, got home safely in time. The next morning 
the clear river had turned into a torrent of yellow mud, and 
only the flattest of rafts could pass under the bridge over the 
surplus water of the canal. Many were dashed to pieces every 
year at that point. The great snow-peaks were perfectly clear 
and white after the storm. 

Hardwar is a most enjoyable place for an artist, full of 
picturesque bits of street views. I went one morning into a 
room overhanging the river, with three fantastic windows and 
many-coloured hangings. A tomb was in the centre of the 
room, covered with green satin drapery, and a real live Fakir, 
entirely naked, was there too, with a long white beard and 
some dabs of yellow paint on him, who stared like a wild 
beast (as he was). I longed to stay and paint the scene, but 
it would have taken long, and the holy man might possibly 
have got hungry and eaten me up. 

The people at Hardwar seemed a fine race, and were most 
friendly. I was bored by the attentions of the police, Captain 
B., their chief, having sent directions to all the inspectors 
round, telling them to report themselves to me (literally trans- 
lated, they were for the time being to consider themselves 
under my orders). Deputations were continually pursuing me, 
asking me to write my name on a big envelope and state that 
I was satisfied with them. I had a perfect troop of people 
guarding me everywhere. I started again in a dooly a box 

ix India 351 

with shutters carried on four men's shoulders, with four others 
to relieve them. They carried me very badly, stopping each 
time they changed shoulders or men. We went through 
fifteen miles of jungle; got to the half-way bungalow after 
six hours, finding all the European rooms full (and I did not 
fancy having a windowless cell cleared of the natives, who 
were already sleeping like bundles on the floor); so I said I 
would sleep in my own dooly in a corner under the sky, and 
the English people there gave me a share of their supper. 

At Dehra, where I stayed four days, I painted some more 
of the sacred plants, which I caught in flower. Dehra is 
famous for its bamboos, which, however, had followed the 
fashion and flowered the year before, so looked at their worst 
when I was there, though they were throwing up fresh canes 
from the roots. The old ones were very shabby, dead, or 
dying. It was the same year that all the English bamboos 
flowered and died, as well as those in Spain and France. In 
India they only died down and started afresh. 

At Dehra I also had the luck to get rid of John ! I had 
hardly seen him for some days (a common occurrence), and 
said to my landlord I feared he was ill again. " 111, ma'am ! 
He's drunk, and he's been dead drunk ever since you came." 
I was too glad of an excuse to be quit of him, so paid him his 
enormous wages, and his journey back to Bombay, and he 
took it quietly and went. I felt free again, and drove off to 
the foot of the hills, then was carried up the zigzags to 
Masuri, feeling determined to be tied to no more idle, lying 
servants, but to pay local people whenever I was well, who 
would take far better care of me than if I had a go-between 
like John, to make them do all his work, and only get half the 
money given for them. 


Printed by R. & R. CLARK, Edinburgh. 





North, Marianne 

Recollections of a happy--